Extreme Turnabouts - The Warrior's Journey®

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“After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.” (Acts 1:3) 

Only Luke mentions the length of time on earth in which Jesus demonstrated Himself alive. What is most remarkable about this period is that its length corresponds to the general duration of a long period of mourning following the death of a great leader. Many Christians, Jews, and Muslims still practice such 40-day period of mourning for a religious leader who has died. But Jesus took that standard period of mourning and turned it inside out. He filled it with His Resurrection presence to instruct His disciples, comfort them, and convince them beyond any doubt that He has truly risen.   

Remember how Jesus had said, “You will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned to joy” (John 16:20). This happened quite dramatically during these forty days. It’s like a bridegroom who is tragically killed just before his wedding. Then he dramatically shows up in person at his own funeral to wipe away the tears of his bride, to reassure her that everything is alright, to proceed with the wedding, and follow it with celebration. That is what Jesus did with the period of time set aside for his mourning. He filled it with joy, hope, and triumph. 

The Gospel Writers seem to find it difficult to make such sweeping statements as we find here in Acts 1:3-8. For them each separate appearance of the Risen Messiah was so precious, so special, so electrifying, and so personal that it cannot be glossed over. His special reconciliation of Peter (John 21:15-23). His “incognito” appearance to the two broken-hearted disciples on the road to Emmaeus (Luke 24:13-35). His calling of Mary by name (John 20:11-18). The revealing of His scars and His deity to Thomas (John 20:24-29). These were all precision-tailored manifestations that addressed some particular need and answered some burning question in the hearts of the disciples.   

And Jesus does the same thing in all of our tragedies and sorrows. He meets with us in our most painful moments. He turns hurts into halos and scars into stars.  He wipes tears from our eyes and changes our sorrow into everlasting joy. Whatever this day holds in store for you, remember this. God has every intention of turning all your pain into gain and He will work all the events of your life – both the bitter and the sweet, both the wins and the losses – into your ultimate good and His own ultimate glory (Romans 8:28). Never give up hope or lose heart.  God will turn your night into day. 


  • Are you in the middle of some painful period of separation or grief? 
  • Though Jesus ascended into heaven, didn’t He promise, “Lo, I am with you always – even to the end of the age?” (Matthew 28:20) 
  • Trust in Jesus to turn your night into day and your defeat into victory. 

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