REAPING THE REWARDS
Father God, today I resonate with Mary’s word, “My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior” (Luke 1:46-47). Thanks be to God.
Read Psalm 126
A song of ascents.
1 When the Lord restored the fortunes of[a] Zion,
we were like those who dreamed.[b]
2 Our mouths were filled with laughter,
our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
“The Lord has done great things for them.”
3 The Lord has done great things for us,
and we are filled with joy.
4 Restore our fortunes,[c] Lord,
like streams in the Negev.
5 Those who sow with tears
will reap with songs of joy.
6 Those who go out weeping,
carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy,
carrying sheaves with them.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHave you faced disappointments when hard work for God doesn’t seem to be bearing fruit?
Today’s psalm begins on a high: the Israelites’ prayers were answered (1–3). Released from long years of captivity in Babylon, they were finally returning home. How amazing that must have felt! But once there, they had to restore their homeland, which had been devastated by war and neglect. This would be a long slog and they would not see the full results of their toil for many years.
Like the psalmist, we experience times when God does great things in our lives, and we feel blessed. However, as this psalm also shows, following God is not always easy. There are times when nothing much seems to be happening, even though we are faithfully serving Him. This does not mean God is displeased with us, though. As we keep on trusting God – even when He seems distant, or we see few results from our efforts – our perseverance will bear fruit, just as a sower’s perseverance does (6). All the back-breaking digging, sowing, weeding, and watering that the sowers do doesn’t produce fruit immediately, but when the time is right, they reap the benefits. Be encouraged! Keep going – and you will too.
One fruit which perseverance often develops in us is growth in our character (Romans 5:3–5). Can you think of any ways in which you have grown more Christ-like through tough times?
Heavenly Father, I pray for renewal and revival in my life, my church, my country, and in the world. I look to You Lord, whether You work dramatically or gradually.
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