The Root of Joy Amidst Sorrow

By Joyce Kwon | Student (Junior)

Before his death, Jesus told his disciples that they will feel sorrow, but their grief will turn into wonderful joy after Jesus returns (John 16:20). The disciples were unsure of what he meant, so Jesus tells them, “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 16:21-22).

Although this verse is in the setting of Christ’s crucifixion, Jesus’ message to his disciples is one for all of us. When sorrow infiltrates our lives, we can be encouraged in joy because God accompanies us with strength to overcome sorrow. As the new year approaches, I find myself reflecting on 2023. Whether memories are delightful or bittersweet, I feel joy, which I realize comes from a place of gratitude to God. Without the bad, there is no good, and vice versa. Joy is a feeling one can wholeheartedly attain by recognizing and appreciating God’s blessing of faithful presence amidst suffering.

The most glorious gift given to us is the Son of Man, Jesus. The world tells us that there are desires and milestones that when met achieve happiness. However, it is impossible to sustain joy with the achievements and milestones of this world. Circumstantial happiness is incomparable to the fervent feeling of joy we receive from being in relationship with God.

During this Advent season, let us take time to thank God for continuing to accompany us through the times of hardship and sorrow.

Center for Faithful Business

Seattle Pacific University

Dr. JoAnn Flett, Executive Director


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