What Jesus Did! 'The Dark Night before Dawn' — John 16:16-22

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

[Jesus said,] "In a little while you won't see me anymore. But a little while after that, you will see me again." Some of the disciples asked each other, "What does he mean when he says, 'In a little while you won't see me, but then you will see me,' and 'I am going to the Father'? And what does he mean by 'a little while'? We don't understand." Jesus realized they wanted to ask him about it, so he said, "Are you asking yourselves what I meant? I said in a little while you won't see me, but a little while after that you will see me again. I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn over what is going to happen to me, but the world will rejoice. You will grieve, but your grief will suddenly turn to wonderful joy. It will be like a woman suffering the pains of labor. When her child is born, her anguish gives way to joy because she has brought a new baby into the world. So you have sorrow now, but I will see you again; then you will rejoice, and no one can rob you of that joy."
— John 16:16-22 NLT
Illustration of John 16:16-22 NLT — "In a little while you won't see me anymore. But a little while after that, you will see me again."

Key Thought

Jesus knows that darkness will descend on himself and those he loves. He has tried to prepare them. They cannot imagine what the next four days will entail. They will go from excruciating agony to inexpressible joy. When we face our dark nights, we need to remember that the Holy Spirit who lives in us is our assurance of a dawn of joy, blessing, and triumph.

Today's Prayer

Give me courage in my darkest moments, O Lord my Father and God, to trust that you are the Father of the dawn and the gracious God who raises triumph out of defeat and joy out of sorrow. Please bless the following people who now face the darkness in their lives: ... Strengthen them and bring them the dawn of joy in your grace. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Psalm 30:5b & Isaiah 66:14
  • John 20:19-22
  • Luke 24:35-43


About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.