Those who sow in tears
Shall reap in joy.
He who continually goes forth weeping,
Bearing seed for sowing,
Shall doubtless come again with rejoicing,
Bringing his sheaves with him.
Psalms 126:5-6 NKJV
“Those who sow in tears
Shall reap in joy”
Failure, humbling ourselves, and restoration – this is the story we find repeated throughout the Bible. We find imperfect people who will humble themselves to the Lord are the very ones that God uses.
And even for those of us who are new creations in Christ and who are seeking to walk moment to moment in the Spirit and not in the flesh, we find that we are not perfect. If we dig deep enough into our hearts, into our thought life, into those opportunities we missed or ignored, we can see that we are not perfect reflections of Christ’s blameless and perfect example.
And in our being humbled, redemption can take place, from faith to faith, from grace to grace. It is here that we receive joy – not in our works but in His.
“He who continually goes forth weeping,
Bearing seed for sowing,
Shall doubtless come again with rejoicing”
It is in this place of Godly sorrow, of yielding to Him, that His work is done in our hearts, where the annointing (the outpouring) of His Holy Spirit and His very nature and character can be poured out into our lives like fresh, new streams of living water. And this water is not just for us to drink, but to take forth and share with others, pouring out His love into a thirsty world in need of His grace and mercy.
And as we go out, taking this Good News to the world around us – as we pour out truth, hope, faith, and love as is according to the need of each person that we can help – the Word of God will plant itself in them, and it will be watered, and it will grow. Yes, it is our purpose to go out, and if we do, there will be a harvest that we had the opportunity to participate in.
“Bringing his sheaves with him.”
When the grain is reaped, it is laid in handfuls behind the reaper to be gathered by children or those who cannot stand the harder work of reaping (Psalm 129:7). The handfuls are bound into large sheaves, two of which are laden at a time on a donkey (compare Nehemiah 13:15). In some districts carts are used (compare Amos 2:13). The sheaves are piled about the threshing-floors until threshing time, which may be several weeks after harvest. It is an impressive sight to see the huge stacks of sheaves piled about the threshing-floors, the piles often cover an area greater than the nearby villages.
I’ll be honest with you, I’m not keeping an eye on the sheaves. I’m not out here trying to “win souls” so that “my harvest” can be great. No, you see, I’ve acknowledged for myself that I can’t save anyone’s soul myself – the Lord draws those that are His. But I do have work and a purpose that is assigned to me as a disciple and follower of Christ. I have the “opportunity” to participate in the work at hand each day, and every moment that I can share Christ through my service, through my love, and even through my words. It is my faithfulness to the work at hand that will allow me to participate in whatever harvest takes place. I’m just a servant in my Father’s garden. I’m just a servant in my Father’s Kingdom, seeing that His will be done in my life today. It is my faith that works, it is His Holy Spirit in me that produces, not me.
Faith works in the heart of the believer.
For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.
I Thessalonians 2:13 NKJV
It is the active testing and proving of this faith, this yielding humbly to God, that produces growth.
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
James 1:2-4 NKJV
Faith is not stagnant or dead in the heart of the believer, it produces work in the heart, which results in work and service in the world.
What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
James 2:14-17 NKJV