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Daily Devotional

April 16

Sorrow Turned Into Joy

by the Rev. Henry Huenemann


Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy (John 16:20).

Bible Reading

Matthew 28:

1In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.
2And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.
3His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:
4And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.
5And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.
6He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
7And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.
8And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.
9And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.
10Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.
11Now when they were going, behold, some of the watch came into the city, and shewed unto the chief priests all the things that were done.
12And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers,
13Saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept.
14And if this come to the governor's ears, we will persuade him, and secure you.
15So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.
16Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.
17And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.
18And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.


"Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord." Jesus was crucified, dead and buried. The hopes and the expec­tations of the disciples, that Jesus would set up a kingdom, were dashed to the ground: all seemed lost. The words of Jesus, "Ye shall weep and lament," went into fulfillment shortly after they were spoken. Mark tells us that those who had been with Jesus mourned and wept.

But unexpectedly, just as their sorrow had come upon them, so unexpectedly joy came to them, when Jesus appeared unto them. On the evening of the resurrection day they could not believe that it was He. So He ate before them, and showed them his hands and his feet with the nail prints, and his pierced side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. So we may rejoice even in our sorrows, but we must keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith. He endured the cross for the joy that was set before him. And so we see Jesus crowned with glory and honor for the suffering of death. Even here and now we may, with open face, behold the glory of the Lord as in a glass, but then "face to face."

"We know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is." That will be joy unspeakable and full of glory.


O God, our Father, when sorrow and tribulations come upon us, and all seems dark and we see no way out, may we then look up. The way to Thy throne of grace is still open. Wilt Thou speak peace unto our souls, and our sorrow will be turned into joy, and we will praise Thee. Amen.

Scripture in Devotional: John 20:20; Mark 16:10; Luke 24:39; Heb. 12:2; 2:9; 2 Cor. 3:18; 1 Cor. 13:12; 1 John 3:2.

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