Joy and Pain

The following are comments [from an edited “Ask Pastor John” transcript, I think] by John Piper.  This is NOT a promotion or an endorsement of Piper as a true Christian (you may click HERE to read some of Piper’s Christ-hating and precious blood-despising teachings).

“‘Even in laughter the heart may ache’ (Proverbs 14:13).

There are two reasons for this. It’s true for everybody, but especially for Christians. One is the sequential nature of pain and joy, and the other is the simultaneous nature of pain and joy.

The Bible says in Psalm 30:5, ‘Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.’ So, there’s a certain sequence in our experience. And yet we all know that as one joy is dying, which calls for weeping, and another joy is being born, there’s a transition and a process in which we feel very awkward. We want to cry, and we want to laugh, and it feels awkward to do either. So, there’s laughter and pain together.

The other reason is the simultaneous nature of this experience. Paul said in Romans 12:15, ‘Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.’ Well, we always know people who are weeping and people who are rejoicing. So, there’s always a good reason to be weeping and a good reason to be rejoicing simultaneously.

Paul said about his own experience, in Romans 9:2, that he had ‘unceasing anguish’ in his heart, because of his lost kinsmen, the Jews. And yet he’s the one who preached to himself and to us, ‘Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice’ (Philippians 4:4). So, while he’s always grieving in some way for his lost kinsmen, he’s rejoicing in Christ, which is why he gave us this phrase, which I think is so crucial, in 2 Corinthians 6:10: ‘Sorrowful, yet always rejoicing.’

So, with laughter, there will be weeping, either because of the sequence and the transition that’s so awkward, or because of how simultaneous the reasons are for both.”

Though the LINK provided above shows Piper’s palpable perversion of the grace of God in Jesus Christ (Jude 1:4), I think what he says here on joy and pain are well-put.

Here is how the newest edition of the LITV translates Proverbs 14:13:

“Even in laughter pain is in the heart and in its end that joy [is] grief” (Proverbs 14:13).

The NKJV reads this way:

“Even in laughter the heart may sorrow, And the end of mirth [may be] grief.”

The KJV:

“Even in laughter the heart is sorrowful; and the end of that mirth [is] heaviness.”

Young’s Literal Translation (YLT) put it like this:

“Even in laughter is the heart pained, And the latter end of joy [is] affliction.”