Matthew 17:22-23 Now while they were staying in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men, and they will kill Him, and the third day He will be raised up.” And they were exceedingly sorrowful.
To their minds it would have seemed better for Jesus to stay among them. So many were being healed and set free. The truths of the kingdom were being preached to hungry souls. Twenty or thirty more years of this kind of ministry from Jesus would have made such a difference in Israel and the surrounding regions. The thought of Him being taken away was exceedingly grievous to them and seemed like the dashing of their hopes and dreams for the kingship of Jesus. But they didn’t understand that the plan of God was far more than Jesus reigning over a nation — He was to reign over ALL the nations and that could only be accomplished through his death and resurrection. The power to preach and bring healing and deliverance was to be an indwelling reality in multitudes who could take this blessing to the farthest corners of the earth, but the Spirit of God couldn’t come and abide where the blood had not cleansed. Had they understood at that time the scope of what was about to be accomplished, their sorrow would have been overshadowed by hope.
In the same way, we find ourselves in places of discouragement when our life isn’t going as expected. The plans we had for life, family and ministry didn’t go as planned and we look upon our lives as though all that remains is to sorrowfully endure until it’s time to go to heaven. But what if your greatest disappointment is just the precursor to your greatest opportunity? What if today’s rejection ushers you into a greater walk with God, the fruits of which affect the lives of those around you? What if today’s sorrow is about to be swallowed up in tomorrow’s overpowering joy?
The plan of God almost inevitably involves suffering. But it doesn’t end there. His plan is bigger and better than you have even imagined. Today, let your sorrow be overwhelmed by hope.