Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. —John 16:22 NIV

Hours before he was arrested and killed, Jesus promised his followers that they would have a temporary time of grief (when all seemed lost) and then a permanent time of joy (when he rose from the dead).

The same is true for us. When we suffer a tragedy or a delay in seeing God work in our lives, or we hit a wall, the grief we feel can be overwhelming. And yet God promises a coming permanent time of joy. In times like these, we need to cling to his promises. We need to not doubt in the darkness what God has shown us in the light.

Even when it’s hard to see, God has a plan and always offers us the gift of his presence. In the midst of our pain, we can invite God to make room in our hearts so that instead of becoming bitter, we become better. We make suffering an open invitation for God to work in us.

The Bible says, “blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green” (Jeremiah 17:7-8).

Food for Thought: No matter what we suffer, we can trust in God’s promise that nothing can ultimately take away our joy. His presence will always be with us.