By Jamie Harms
Even in a time of sorrow, the psalmist remembers the joy of God’s restoration in the past. He is not without hope! Psalm 126 uses the illustration of agriculture as he sows seeds of sorrow. Then, not immediately, he sees those seeds begin to bear fruit, and joy is once again restored.
126: Restore Our Fortunes, O Lord
A Song of Ascents. 1 When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream. 2 Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.” 3 The Lord has done great things for us; we are glad. 4 Restore our fortunes, O Lord, like streams in the Negeb! 5 Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! 6 He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.
Joy and Sorrow
Share about a time when you were filled with the laughter and joy described in verse 2.
In contrast, when in your life have you experienced the sorrow of verses 5 and 6?
How do you experience seasons of hardship in your life? Do you try to hide the pain from others? If so, how and why?
In light of the current realities of our world, it’s important to remember what God has done to guarantee our eternity is one filled with joy. How would you explain to another person the balance we must have between hope and joy in Christ and grieving painful times?
Heavenly Father, I praise You for the joy You give me and for the restoration You have done in my life through the work of Christ on the cross. As seasons come, where I need to sow with tears, help me to rest in Your timing, knowing that my tears in prayer are like seeds that will bear fruit for Your kingdom. Amen.