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Hello my name is Jerral Campfield and this web site is dedicated to Moral Recognition Therapy using Biblical principles. Please come back often to join me in understanding Gods hands are outstretched still to forgive.

Contributed by Jerral Campfield   
Friday, 24 July 2020

Sorrow Will Turn to Joy
16 “A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me, because I go to the Father.”
17 Then some of His disciples said among themselves, “What is this that He says to us, ‘A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me’; and, ‘because I go to the Father’?” 18 They said therefore, “What is this that He says, ‘A little while’? We do not [d]know what He is saying.”
19 Now Jesus knew that they desired to ask Him, and He said to them, “Are you inquiring among yourselves about what I said, ‘A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me’? 20 Most assuredly, I say to you that you will weep andlament, but the world will rejoice; and you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy. 21 A woman, when she is in labor, has sorrow because her hour has come; but as soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. 22 Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you.
23 “And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. 24 Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.
VERSES 16-22
Our Lord Jesus, for the comfort of his sorrowful disciples, here promises that he would visit them again.
John 16:16. Here he tells them, 1. That they should now shortly lose the sight of him: A little while, and you that have seen me so long, and still desire to see me, shall not see me; and therefore, if they had any good question to ask him, they must ask quickly, for he was now taking his leave of them. Note, It is good to consider how near to a period our seasons of grace we are in, that we may be quickened to improve them while He is still speaking to us. Now our eyes see our teachers, see the days of the Son of man; but, perhaps, yet a little while, and we shall not see them. They lost the sight of Christ, (1.) At his death, when he withdrew from this world, and never after showed himself openly in it. The most that death does to our Christian friends is to take them out of our sight, not out of being, not out of bliss, but out of all relation to us, only out of sight, and then not out of mind. (2.) At his ascension, when he withdrew from them while conversing with Him),He went out of their sight; a cloud received him, and, though they looked up steadfastly after him, they saw him no more, Acts 1:9, 10; Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out  of their sight. 10 And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel. Then in the Old Testament when Elijah went to heaven in a Chariot.
 2 Kgs. 2:12And Elisha saw it, and he cried out, “My father, my father, the chariot of Israel and its horsemen!” So he saw him no more. And he took hold of his own clothes and tore them into two pieces. We see in 2 Cor. 5:16 Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer.
2. It is hard to imagine Again a little while, and you shall see me, and therefore you ought not to sorrow as those that have no hope. His farewell was not a final farewell; they should see him again, (1.) At his resurrection, soon after his death, when he showed himself alive, by many infallible proofs, and this in a very little while, not forty hours. See Hos. 6:2 After two days He will revive us; On the third day He will raise us up,
That we may live in His sight. Then 40 days after He appeared to mankind He tells them, I am going to pour out the Spirit which is going to convict the world of wrong doing so you will have a greater insight of the mysteries of the Gospel of Christ which they had not had yet, for Jesus walked and talked to them in person.
That we may live in His sight. Then 40 days after He appeared to mankind He tells them, I am going to pour out the Spirit which is going to convict the world of wrong doing so you will have a greater insight of the mysteries of the Gospel of Christ which they had not had yet, for Jesus walked and talked to them in person.
The Spirits coming was Christs visit to his disciples, not a transient but a permanent one, and such a visit as abundantly retrieved the sight of him. (3.) At his second coming. They saw him again as they removed one by one to him at death, and they shall see him together at the end of time, when he shall come in the clouds, and every eye shall see him. It might be truly said of this that it was but a little while, and they should see him; for what are the days of time, to the days of eternity? 2 Pet. 3:8, 9 But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward [c]us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
3. He assigns the reason: Because I go to the Father; and therefore,(1.) I must leave you for a time, because my business calls me to the upper world, and you must be content to spare me, for really my business is yours. (2.) Therefore you shall see me again shortly, for the Father will not detain me to your prejudice. If I go upon your errand, you shall see me again as soon as my business is done, as soon as is convenient.
It should seem, all this refers rather to his going away at death, and return at his resurrection, than his going away at the ascension, and his return at the end of time; for it was his death that was their grief, not his ascension (Luke 24:52,53 ), And they worshiped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy,  and were continually in the temple [n]praising and blessing God. [o]Amen. So between his death and resurrection it was indeed a little whilefor a little while you shall not see me, namely, the three days of his lying in the grave; and again, for a little while you shall see me, namely, the forty days between his resurrection and ascension. 
II. The perplexity of the disciples upon the intimation given them; they were at a loss what to make of it What is this that he saith to us? Though Christ had often spoken to this time before, yet still they were in the dark; though precept be upon precept, it is in vain, unless God gave the understanding. Now see, 1. The disciples weakness, in that they could not understand so plain a saying, to which Christ had already given them a key, having told them so often in plain terms that he should be killed, and the third day rise again; yet, say they, We cannot tell what he saith; for, (1.) Sorrow had filled their heart, and made them unapt to receive the impressions of comfort. The darkness of ignorance and the darkness of melancholy commonly increase and thicken one another; mistakes cause griefs, and then griefs confirm mistakes. (2.) The notion of Christs secular kingdom was so deeply rooted in them that they could make no sense at all of those sayings of his which they knew not how to reconcile with that notion. When we think the scripture must be made to agree with the false ideas we have imbibed, no wonder that we complain of difficulty; but when our reasonings are captivated to revelation, the matter becomes easy. (3.) It should seem, that which puzzled them was the little while. If he must go at least, yet they could not conceive how he should leave them quickly, when his stay hitherto had been so short, and so little while, comparatively. Thus it is hard for us to represent to ourselves that change as near which yet we know will come certainly, and may come suddenly. When we are told, Yet a little while and we must go hence, yet a little while and we must give up our account, we know not how to digest it; for we always took the vision to be for a great while to come, Ezek. 12:27. “Son of man, look, the house of Israel is saying, ‘The vision that he sees is for many days from now, and he prophesies of times far off.’
 2. Their willingness to be instructed. When they were at a loss about the meaning of Christs words, they conferred together upon it, and asked help of one another. Even today when we do not understand fully we ask others what they think. Though we cannot fully solve every difficulty we meet with in scripture, yet we must not therefore throw it off, but revolve what we cannot explain, and wait till God shall reveal even this unto usIt is not my will but your will oh Lord!
III. The further explication of what Christ had said.
1. See here why Christ explained it (John 16:19); Now Jesus knew that they desired to ask Him, and He said to them, Are you inquiring among yourselves about what I said, A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me
 because he knew they were desirous to ask him, and designed it. Note, The knots we cannot untie we must bring to him who alone can give an understanding. Christ knew they were desirous to ask him, but were bashful and ashamed to ask. Note, Christ takes cognizance of pious desires, though they be not as yet offered up, the groanings that cannot be uttered, and even anticipates them with the blessings of his goodnessChrist instructed those who he knew were desirous to ask him, though they did not ask. Before we call, he answers. Another reason why Christ explained it was because he observed them canvassing this matter among themselves: Do you enquire this among yourselves? Well, I will make it easy to you. This intimates to us who they are that Christ will teach: (1.) The humble, that confess their ignorance, for so much their enquiry implied. (2.) The diligent, that use the means they have: Do you enquire? You shall be taught. To him that hath shall be given.
2. See here how he explained it; not by a nice and critical play upon the words, but by bringing the thing more closely to them; he had told them of not seeing him, and seeing him, and they did not apprehend the meaning, and therefore he explains it by their sorrowing and rejoicing, because we commonly measure things according as they affect us (John 16:20):


 You shall weep and lament, for my departure, but the world shall rejoice in it; and you shall be sorrowful, while I am absent, but, upon my return to you, your sorrow will be turned into joy.But he says nothing of the little while, because he saw that this perplexed them more than anything; and it is of no consequence to us to know the times and the seasons. Note, Believers have joy or sorrow according as they have, or have not a sight of Christ, and the tokens of his presence with them.
(1.) What Christ says here, and in John 16:21, 22, A woman, when she is in labor, has sorrow because her hour has come; but as soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. Note - Their grief foretold: You shall weep and lament, and you shall be sorrowful. The sufferings of Christ could not but be the sorrow of his disciples. They wept for him because they loved him; the pain of our friend is a pain to ourselves; when they wept, it was for sorrow for themselves, and their own loss, and the sad apprehensions they had of what would become of them when he was gone. Christ has given notice to his disciples beforehand to expect sorrow, that they may treasure up comforts accordingly.
[2.] The worlds rejoicing at the same time: But the world shall rejoice. That which is the grief of saints is the joy of sinners. First, Those that are strangers to Christ will continue in their carnal mirth, and not at all interest themselves in their sorrows. It is nothing to them that pass by, Lam. 1:12Is it nothing to you, all you who [a]pass by? Behold and see If there is any sorrow like my sorrow, Which has been brought on me,
Which the Lord has inflicted in the day of His fierce anger.
Which the Lord has inflicted in the day of His fierce anger.
Secondly, Those that are enemies to Christ will rejoice because they hope they have conquered him, and ruined his interest. When the chief priests had Christ upon the cross, we may suppose they made merry over him, as those that dwell on earth over the slain witnesses, Rev. 11:10.  And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth.
 Let it be no surprise to us if we see others triumphing, when we are trembling for the ark.
[3.] The return of joy to them in due time: But your sorrow shall be turned into joy. As the joy of the hypocrite, so the sorrow of the true Christian, is but for a moment. The disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. His resurrection was life from the dead to them, and their sorrow for Christs sufferings was turned into a joy of such a nature as could not be damped and embittered by any sufferings of their own. They were sorrowful, and yet always rejoicing (2 Cor. 6:10),  as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things. Thank the Lord we look at what is going on with Coronavirus and the rioting and it makes us sorrowful. This is applicable to all the faithful followers of the Lamb, and describes the common case of Christians.
[1.] Their condition and disposition are both mournful; sorrows are their lot, and seriousness is their temper: those that are acquainted with Christ must, as he was, be acquainted with grief; they weep and lament for that which others make light of, their own sins, and the sins of those about them; they mourn with sufferers that mourn, and mourn for sinners that mourn not for themselves.
[2.] The world, at the same time, goes away with all the mirth; they laugh now, and spend their days so jovially that one would think they neither knew sorrow nor feared it. Carnal mirth and pleasures are surely none of the best things, for then the worst men would not have so large a share of them, and the favorites of heaven be such strangers to them.
[3.] Spiritual mourning will shortly be turned into eternal rejoicing. Gladness is sown for the upright in heart, that sow tears, and without doubt they will shortly reap in joy. Their sorrow will not only be followed with joy, but turned into it; for the most precious comforts take rise from pious griefs. So he illustrates by a similitude taken from a woman in travail, to whose sorrows he compares those of his disciples, for their encouragement; for it is the will of Christ that his people should be a comforted people.
First, Here is the similitude or parable itself (John 16:21): A woman, we know, when she is in travail, hath sorrow, she is in exquisite pain, because her hour is come, the hour which nature and providence have fixed, which she has expected, and cannot escape; but as soon as she is delivered of the child, provided she be safely delivered, and the child be, though a Jabez (1 Chron. 4:9), yet not a Benoni (Gen. 35:18), then she remembers no more the anguish, her groans and complaints are over, and the afterpains are more easily borne, for joy that a man is born into the world, anthropos, one of the human race, a child, be it son or daughter, for the word signifies either. Observe,
a. The fruit of the curse, in the sorrow and pain of a woman in travail, according to the sentence (Gen. 3:16), In sorrow shalt thou bring forth. These pains are extreme, the greatest griefs and pains are compared to them. See what this world is; all its roses are surrounded with thorns, all the children of men are upon this account foolish children, that they are the heaviness of her that bore them from the very first. This comes of sin.
b. The fruit of the blessing, in the joy there is for a child born into the world. If God had not preserved the blessing in force after the fall, Be fruitful and multiply, parents could never have looked upon their children with any comfort; but what is the fruit of a blessing is matter of joy; the birth of a living child is, (a.) The parents joy; it makes them very glad. Though children are certain cares, uncertain comforts, and often prove the greatest crosses, yet it is natural to us to rejoice at their birth. But when we consider, not only that they are born in sin, but, as it is expressed, that they are born into the world, a world of snares and a vale of tears, we shall see reason to rejoice with trembling, lest it should prove better for them that they had never been bornNow this is very proper to remember, [a.] The sorrows of Christs disciples in this world; they are like travailing pains, sure and sharp, but not to last long, and in order to a joyful product; they are in pain to be delivered, as the church is described and the whole creation, Rom. 8:22For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.
And, [b.] Their joys after these sorrows, which will wipe away all tears, for the former things are passed away, Rev. 21:4And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”  (John 16:22): You now have sorrow, and are likely to have more, but I will see you again, and you me, and then all will be well.
a. Here again he tells them of their sorrow: You now therefore have sorrow; therefore, because I am leaving you, as is intimated in the antithesis, I will see you again. Note, Christs withdrawings are just cause of grief to his disciples. If he hide his face, they cannot be troubled. When the sun sets, the sun-flower will hang the head. And Christ takes notice of these griefs, has a bottle for the tears, and a book for the sighs, of all gracious mourners.
b. He himself went through his own griefs, and bore ours, for the joy that was set before him; and he would have us encourage ourselves with the same prospect. Three things recommend the joy:(a.) The cause of it: I will see you againI will make you a kind and friendly visit, to enquire after you, and minister comfort to you. Note, [a.] Christ will graciously return to those that wait for him, though for a small moment he has seemed to forsake them, Isa. 54:7. Men, when they are exalted, will scarcely look upon their inferiors; but the exalted Jesus will visit his disciples. They shall not only see him in his glory, but he will see them in their meanness. [b.] Christs returns are returns of joy to all his disciples. When clouded evidences are cleared up and interrupted communion is revived, then is the mouth filled with laughter. (b.) The cordiality of it: Your heart shall rejoice. Divine consolation put gladness into the heart. Joy in the heart is solid, and not flashy; it is secret, and that which a stranger does not intermeddle with; it is sweet, and gives a good man satisfaction in himself; it is sure, and not easily broken in upon. Christs disciples should heartily rejoice in his returns, sincerely and greatly. (c.) The continuance of it: Your joy no man taketh from you. Men will attempt to take their joy from them; they would if they could; but they shall not prevail. Some understand it of the eternal joy of those that are glorified; those that have entered into the joy of the Lord shall go no more out. Our joys on earth we are liable to be robbed of by a thousand accidents, but heavenly joys are everlasting. I rather understand it of the spiritual joys of those that are sanctified, particularly the apostles joy in their apostleship. Thanks be to God, says Paul, in the name of the rest, who always causes us to triumph, 2 Cor. 2:14. A malicious world would have taken it from them, they would have lost it; but, when they took everything else from them, they could not take this; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing. They could not rob them of their joy, because they could not separate them from the love of Christ, could not rob them of their God, nor of their treasure in heaven.

Copyright 2005 Jerral Campfield, All rights reserved.