“In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I shall pray the Father for you; for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God.” John 16:26–27
In the second half of John chapter sixteen Jesus is once again talking to his disciples about his being taken away from them. It’s evident from his words that he’s not just talking about his arrest and death on the cross.
As Jesus is trying to prepare his disciples for the sorrow they will experience as result of their devotion to him and their separation from him it’s important that his words will be ones that apply to the sorrow they will have as a result of his sacrifice and also as a result of his separation from them during the years that follow his ascension.
He compares the sorrow his disciples will endure to the sorrow a mother experiences as she’s going through labor. There are times during the labor process when most women despair that it will ever be over, and as the contractions intensify many are in despair knowing that they’ll never be able to make it through the ordeal of labor required to bring their child into the world. But as soon as the child is born the despair is turned to joy and the sorrow is turned into rejoicing because the child they’ve longed to see, and hold is there.
That’s what Jesus says our experience will be like. During these years of longing for Jesus to return we will have sorrow and despair but as soon as we see his face, and are with him, all our sorrow will be turned to joy.
And during the years of sorrow Jesus promises us that we can ask anything in his same and the Father will give it to us. I think it’s beautiful that in making this promise to us Jesus makes sure to tell us that he won’t need to pray to the Father for us. Our Heavenly Father loves us, and because we love Christ the way is opened for him to act on his love for us by giving us what we need.
So many people go through life doubting that anyone truly loves them. Many others having experienced their own sorrows and having witnessed the tremendous sorrows of others learn to doubt that there even is a God of love. How could there be a God of love with so much suffering, sorrow and despair.
Friends, Jesus loves you; he gave himself for you. The Father loves you; he gave his Son to suffer and die to save you. The Holy Spirit loves you; through all the years of your life he’s be near you trying to prove God’s love to you and teach you how to love him in return.
Don’t let the presence of pain, injustice, sorrow and despair lead you to doubt God’s presence and his love. Jesus warned us that we would have trouble as we wait to be rejoined with him. Hold to hope. He will return and when he does our joy will be made full.