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PSALMS OF ASCENT!

PSALM 126:5-6

Sheaves
THOSE WHO SOW IN TEARS WILL REAP WITH SONGS OF JOY. HE WHO GOES OUT WEEPING, CARRYING SEED TO SOW, WILL RETURN WITH SONGS OF JOY, CARRYING SHEAVES WITH HIM. (PSALMS 126:56 NIV)
JOY & SORROW
In our lives we experience different times characterised by weeping and joy (Rom 12:15). But sometimes in the Christian life joy and wee ping go together, or at least are close to one another. Why is this? It is because we do not try to cover our sorrow with laughter, but enter into the depths of sorrow to nd God there with us, and experience all of life to its fullness - even sorrow. My life has never lacked humour, but sometimes it has lacked joy. I feel I cannot live without laughter, but really I need joy. That joy is in a sunlit upland that can be reached only by traveling up the dark dale of depression - a path that has purpose, Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. (Rom 5:35 NIV)

MOVING ON
But we do not stay stuck in sorrow for ever. We move from sorrow to rejoicing. We are a people of joy - like Jesus, Let us x our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2 NIV), and Paul, Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! (Philippians 4:4 NIV). The description of Jesus joy is in the context of the cross and the inspirational call to rejoice comes from a time when Paul was in prison. If they could live with sorrow yet exhibit joy, we can too. Joy does not come from feeling good about yourself, but from feeling good about God. Stop trying to make yourself feel good about yourself. Instead allow God to tell you how good he feels about you! Prayer and Bible study focussed on this will change your day and will turn your mourning into rejoicing!

FARMING
The farming image in these verses is very different from the streams in the desert of the previous verse. Some of our joy comes directly from God and is unexpected, but some of our joy comes from hard work, Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously (2 Cor 9:6 NIV) This reminds me of the old hymn,
Going forth with weeping, sowing for the Master, Though the loss sustained our spirit often grieves; When our weepings over, He will bid us welcome, We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves. Refrain: Bringing in the sheaves, bringing in the sheaves, We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves; Bringing in the sheaves, bringing in the sheaves, We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.

Let us go weeping and sowing trusting that soon we will return singing and reaping.

Malcolm Cox, email: malcolm.cox@iccmissions.org | ICC Missions on facebook | www.nwlcc.org