Songs for the Road: The Psalms of Ascent: Day 9

Sowing in Tears, Reaping in Joy

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Today's Text: Psalm 126:1-6

Scripture Reading: Psalm 126

The Christian life is a climb—a journey of constant growth, sacrifice, and trusting God for what we cannot see. As Eugene Peterson said, we are pilgrims, but we are also disciples—always moving and always learning. The Psalms of Ascent (Psalms 120-134) were sung by worshipers as they made the journey up to Jerusalem for the annual feasts. In this 3-week reading plan, we are digging into these traveling songs with the help of short summary essays and thoughtful, reflective questions for each psalm. Take your pack on your shoulder and walk with us as we pursue God together.

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Psalm 126 (CSB)
ZION’S RESTORATION
A song of ascents.

1 When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion,
we were like those who dream.
2 Our mouths were filled with laughter then,
and our tongues with shouts of joy.
Then they said among the nations,
“The LORD has done great things for them.”
3 The LORD had done great things for us;
we were joyful.

4 Restore our fortunes, LORD,
like watercourses in the Negev.
5 Those who sow in tears
will reap with shouts of joy.
6 Though one goes along weeping,
carrying the bag of seed,
he will surely come back with shouts of joy,
carrying his sheaves.

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A Song of Sorrow and Joy
It is a sign of emotional maturity to be able to feel more than one thing at a time. The pilgrim-disciple in this song is walking through a sad season, but she remembers with joy a time the Lord restored Israel’s fortunes. It was like a dream, and she longs for the Lord to do it again.

We may go out weeping today, sowing our seeds in tears, but there is a harvest of joy we shall reap for all eternity. For now, we live in the tension.

Reflect
1. Name a time in your life when you were filled with the joy described in Psalm 126:2. What made your season of joy so happy?

2. Name a time in your life when you were filled with the sorrow described in Psalm 126:5-6. What made that season so hard? Do you mask pain? If so, how and why?

3. What has God done to assure us that our eternal destiny is one filled with joy? How do we live in the tension between grieving painful times and living in the joy of Christ?

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  • Elizabeth

    I really love verse 6 – that those who go out weeping and yet go out to sow, God blesses abundantly with a heart-reward of songs of joy, but also that the seed sown in faithfulness amidst the tears flourishes into a harvest-reward. To see the fruits of our labours, our testimony to God’s graciousness in amidst the dark times, is truly a joyful reward.

  • God brought this passage to mind for me in response to question 3. I pray this blesses and encourages others as well!
    2 Corinthians 4:7-18
    “7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. 11 For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So death is at work in us, but life in you.

    13 Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak, 14 knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. 15 For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.

    16 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”

    • Rachel

      Also all of Romans 8 but specifically verses 36-39:
      36 As it is written,

      “For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
      we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”

      37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    • Melody

      Absolutely! I love that passage of scripture and it ties so beautifully to the last question. We keep hope and confidence in the eternal joy that belongs to us! Thank you for sharing.

  • I think when we remember that we live in a temporary world, and that we are not temporary creatures, that is a good way to remember the joy God promises us. For me, that really puts everything into perspective. When I remember that God made my soul eternal and plans on giving me joy forever, it makes the now not so unbearable

  • “How do we live in the tension between grieving painful times and living in the joy of Christ?” For me, right now, having come thru a difficult season, joy has come thru remembering the character of who He is and knowing He loves me.

  • We sow our seeds with tears, but God gives us a reason to come back rejoicing! I’ve been dealing with an anxiety disorder brought on by work trauma. I said it didn’t make sense, that it was worthless. I couldn’t see any good at all coming from it! That started almost a year ago. Then a couple weeks ago God started teaching me about spiritual warfare, and it all made sense. My pain was worth it. Why? Because after I figured out that Satan had been trying to neutralize me as I was working for God in ways I never had before, God told me to text a teenager I pray for. She texted me back asking for help with a major life decision. She was trying to decide whether or not to sell her soul to the devil. I got to tell her everything God had been teaching me about His amazing plans and about how Satan tries to neutralize us because He doesn’t want us to be powerful for Christ. I would not have had that to tell without all those horrible experiences. And she told me that she felt God speaking through me. THAT brought me joy. THAT made it worth it! If one kid can choose Jesus over Satan because of my pain, it is more than worth it! I need to focus on things like that–big or small–the reasons we might not know yet that make everything worth it!

    • She Reads Truth

      Thank you for sharing, Sarah! Grateful for you!

      – Stormye

    • Rachel

      Thank you for sharing, Sarah! This is so encouraging to hear. I’ve been dealing with anxiety stemming from guilt and legalism for several months and it’s hard to remember that God has a purpose sometimes. Hearing your story encourages me to hope and watch for what God is doing. God bless you!

  • This is the verse the Lord gave me in the aftermath of grieving my miscarriages. That time and the season of waiting and hoping since has helped me to understand like never before to feel the intertwining of pain and hope and joy. It has helped me to sing and dance with tears and passion and hope through the seasons of barrenness. It is not always easy but has allowed me to find peace even in the midst of the messiness of life.

    • Emily B.

      That is an awesome testimony. Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing.

    • LeighAnn

      As I read this morning, I immediately thought of my miscarriages too. Especially my loss at 17 weeks, I have never felt so many emotions all at once. Tomorrow would have been his due date 4 years ago, and those emotions are stirring once again. Thanks for sharing!

  • “How do we live in the tension between grieving painful times and living in the joy of Christ?” This is exactly what I’ve been asking myself and the Lord. I think the answer lies in vulnerability; being open-hearted to what the Lord desires, whether it is sorrow or joy. It is being willing to accept His design and live suspended by sovereignty.

  • I went through sorrow when my eldest daughter was born nearly 9 years ago, in a couple of weeks we celebrate her 9th birthday and with thankfulness and amazing praise to our Heavenly Father who brought us through one of the hardest weeks when she was born. I had to have an emergency c-section as she was in distress and we nearly lost her. She had to be ventilated for a week and we weren’t able to hold her only look and pray for this beautiful life. God brought her through and then at 7 months she developed ocular cellulitis and we thought we may lose her again but again we praise God that he looked after her. She is such a joy and delight but now suffers with anxiety issue around school but she has the biggest heart I know. We have been blessed with 2 beautiful daughters who are my pride and joys. I think God everyday for the blessings that they both bring. Thank you for letting me share. God bless you xx

    • Emily B.

      It’s awesome that your daughter’s life is a testament to God working in yours. Thank you for sharing your story!

  • Wow! Like the previous comments, I too struggle with finding joy in sorrowful times. But looking back, I can see joy in certain parts of these hard times. For example, my brother’s divorce and the fact I had to go to the sister school of my desired university to get to the main campus, has both brought me closer to my mom. I used to curse her, and be a typically teenager (probably worse, though). But now I tell her everything and she often tells me she’s shocked with how much she talks to me now. It never clicked with me what a blessing of what once seemed a frustration and difficult situation could bring. It may be small, but it’s certainly a joy I am grateful for.

  • Hello ladies! I haven’t kept up with the readings as much as I wanted. In fact, I’ve only read two or three. Just business, tiredness and messiness. This is just a little hello to say I’m here and planning to catch up again. And to tell others how their stories make me want to share again too. Catherine Jackson talking about loneliness when studying abroad and all uncertainties when back home struck me. And those telling how in their sadness they experienced God’s proximity. I’ve been there. And I feel like there’s a lot I could get out of these readings.

  • What are some answers for thought three? I’m struggling with this now. I have struggles with mental health issues and so when I feel really down my belief tells me it’ll be okay and be joyful God is enough. But how do I reconcile all this? How can I be joyful while every day feels like a chore, even tho I know I should be thankful it’s hard and frustrating to me that I can’t enjoy his grace.

    • Abby

      Hey Marissa! My go-to verse for thought three comes from Romans 8:31-39. “What shall we say to these things (sin, depression, death, suffering, injustice – see earlier in the chapter like verse 18)? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but graciously gave him up for us all, how will he not, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died–more than that, who was raised–who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of God in Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or nakedness, or famine, or danger, or sword? As it is written ‘For your sake we are being killed all day long, we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered’?
      “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors, through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, neither angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor heights, nor depths, nor anything else in all creation shall be able to separate us from the Love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
      I read another quote one time that said there is no way out of our suffering, there is only the way through. “No way out but through” is how I have shortened it in my mind. Too often though, instead of depending on Christ and his word, I just try to tough it out. It’s more helpful, however, when I type or write out these verses (like the one I just did) or a portion of our psalm, or Isaiah, and then I can glance at it from time to time throughout my day. The Word is Spirit, and Life, and Jesus breathes Life into us through his Word. This is our only foundation, our only hope, our only Rock on which to stand. Another go to passage is 2nd Corinthians 1-5. Hope some of these verses encourage!

  • This verse, “5 Those who sow in tears
    will reap with shouts of joy.
    6 Though one goes along weeping,
    carrying the bag of seed,
    he will surely come back with shouts of joy,
    carrying his sheaves” spoke to me this morning. During a time of grieving and depression I have to be reminded that I will once again be filled with joy in that empty part of me. In Dec I received the news that I was having a miscarriage at 5 months, I can’t explain the pain, shock and emptiness I felt. I struggle everyday since with depression and going through the grieving process of losing my sweet baby girl, Sophie. My miracle daughter also grieves her baby sister. I try to remind her that if we pray for God to protect mommy and help me to carry another baby we will hopefully be blessed once again. It’s hard to comfort your child when you yourself needs comforting. I’ve lost a part of me and I long to feel the joy I once felt. I’m so blessed to be healthy and alive and to still have a wonderful husband and daughter but Lord please heal my emptiness because I’m still so broken.

    • Juliet

      My heart is heavy for you! Praying you feel the sweet comfort and peace of the Father today. What a perfect verse to cling to for this hard season. You are loved!

    • Hilary

      Praying for you now, Rhona!

    • Christine Marie

      Dear Rhona I’m so sorry. As a labor and delivery nurse I have helped some women through this difficult time and while I’ve never experienced this myself, I’ve seen the sorrow and pain it has brought on these women. I know that God is with you in your sorrow, and He wants you to draw near and be healed by His love. Praying for healing and for joy to be restored.

      “He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds.”
      ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭147:3‬ ‭NKJV‬‬
      http://bible.com/114/psa.147.3.nkjv

    • Claire

      Praying for you today, Rhona…I am deeply sorry for your loss. I have lost four pregnancies now, each within the first trimester, and I cannot imagine losing a later-term child. Praying for peace and for the joy to be restored. We carry our seeds today with tears but also with gratitude that He has entrusted us to this! Hang on, sister. He is always good and will restore your joy.

    • Emily B.

      When we come to the Lord empty, He is faithful to fill us up, even if it takes awhile. I can’t imagine what you’re feeling, but I pray that He’ll draw even closer to your hurting heart.

    • She Reads Truth

      Oh, sweet Rhona. I am so sorry to hear of your pain and your loss. Praying protection and healing over you and your family. Asking the Lord to heal your emptiness and brokenness and to draw you close to Him through His Word. So grateful for you.

      – Stormye

    • Rhona

      Thank you everyone for your kinds words and support it fills my heart with warmth. Hugs and God bless all of you.

    • Blessed

      Praying for you. Continue to talk with Him and read His Word. Surround yourself with the support of others….family, close friends, even women who have gone through it as well. Speak with your pastor or a mentor. Losing a child is unimaginable and grieving the loss is painful. Don’t give up. He’s got you. You will find peace. ❤️

    • Anna

      I find praying the Psalms such a powerful thing. God led me to pray Psalm 40 over my sister in law when she lost her precious daughter at 5 months and she can now testify verses 1-3 for herself. As I read your comment this morning, God reminded me of this, so now I pray it over you too…
      May Rhona wait patiently for you Lord, turn to her and hear her cry,
      Lift her out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire,
      Set her feet on a rock and give her a firm place to stand.
      Put a new song in her mouth, a hymn of praise to you God,
      May many see and fear and put their trust in you Lord.

    • Tina

      Oh Rhonda, my heart hurts for your loss…praying and holding you up to know the peace of God, for it to cover you in these sad, broken, lost days… keep crying out to the Lord, He is with you, He weeps with you in your sorrow, and He for sure wants to restore joy back into your life…
      I will continue tolift you and yours up in pray, Rhonda… know you have a sister across the pond who shares in your sadness and pain…
      Sending love wrapped hugs to you and yours…xxx

  • I am filled with more joy when I am in daily communication with God. Right now I am not as joyful because I feel distant to God because of a habitual sin. While I know the enemy is really trying to separate me from the Lord because of this sin, I am hopeful and confident that this time of tension will pass. It is so easy to believe lies that the devil whispers in our ears. The Christian life is a daily fight.

    • Christine Marie

      The Christian life is not easy Bailey I agree, but God is with us! Praying for you to overcome your habitual sin. We all fall short. God will give you the strength to overcome this!

    • Debijo

      Praying for you Bailey. My son is also going through a season of feeling distant from God. You are right, it is a battle, but take heart in knowing the battle over sin has been conquered in Jesus! The victory is ours! Discouragement and confusion is not from God…these are weapons of Satan the great deceiver and father of lies. Stay on your knees Bailey. Look heavenward. He is faithful when we are faithless! He is Able!

    • She Reads Truth

      Praying for you now, sweet sister. Asking the Lord to break these chains that try to keep you from Him. Grateful for you.

      – Stormye

    • Rachel

      Thank you for your openness Bailey! I will be praying for you in your struggle. I can testify that God is stronger than our flesh. I dealt with a habitual sin I thought I would never be free of, but by God’s grace He has released me from that bondage. My flesh still is weak toward it but my confidence is greater, knowing that the moment I call on God He is there by my side to fight for me. God’s rescue often comes in a different timing than we’d hope, but I promise that it comes. I pray this brings you hope and encouragement. Grace and Peace.

  • Heather Legge

    Oh. My. Gosh. You guys. I have been praying and praying to sow seeds in my girls (they are 8&11) and there have been MANY tears because I am in the fight of my life to gain custody of them. Their dad has paid his way through court to have full custody in order to maintain control over me, and I barely see them, but I love them so much. I read this psalm and literally jumped out of my chair for joy!!! Maybe these seeds that I am sowing with such love and care and tears…there is hope!!! There is hope that my girls will return to me (in whatever circumstance) and we will be singing praises of joy!!!! Please pray for us. My girls are so special to me. They love being here, and their dad is only hurting them… Please pray for their hearts and mine. And especially for his. I cannot find it within me to pray for their dad, but many others are.

    • Rhona

      Heather,
      I’m praying for you to once again be reunited with your daughters. May the good Lord give you strength to get through this trial and bless you with happiness. I pray for their Dad who will hopefully realize that his girls need their mom in their life regardless of the capacity in which this will happen. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

    • Alexis

      Praying for you Heather, that your daughters will be restored to you and I pray that God softens their fathers heart, and that he may come to know God.

    • Emily B.

      I pray that God can keep sustaining you with His joy! Joy instead of worry, joy instead of fear, joy instead of bitterness…He can do it all. I admire your fighting spirit.

    • She Reads Truth

      Continuing to pray for you in this, Heather. Asking the Lord to grow and tend to the hearts of you and your girls. So grateful for the update!

      – Stormye

  • I love this promise! Are tears water the soil that bring the harvest! Amazing! http://Www.in-due-time.com

    • HeatherJoy

      I love this. I have been following along with SRT for awhile now, but have not commented. This comment really resonated with me. God can use our tears and hardships to bring forth beautiful flowers or food for ourselves and others to enjoy and nourish.
      This year has been so difficult for me. This year, a student in my class was killed in our school, another student has a very poor prognosis from battling cancer, and there are so many others that are having suicidal thoughts and suffering from anxiety. I have watered the ground many times with tears and hope that one day, I will be able to see the flowers and food that God has for me and my students.

      • She Reads Truth

        So glad you shared, HeatherJoy. Grateful for you and praying that the Lord allows you to see these flowers you have planted.

        – Stormye

  • When comparing my responses to the greatest joy and greatest sorrow, I noticed how large my pain was compared to my joy. This isn’t by any fault of God (Who is faultless in all ways) but by my own fault, for failing to find the joy in every situation. Sorrow always feels sharper and clearer than joy because sorrow comes from sin’s mark on the world. Joy only comes from Christ. I wish I could say that I’ve kept my eyes on Christ more than I have sin, but it isn’t true. This study has been such a wonderful reminder to keep my eyes on the joy in Christ ❤️

  • This Psalm… oh this Psalm.. if I was braver, back in the early days of my heartbreak and dark days, I would have gotten this tattooed on my heart..
    I took the words so to my heart…
    ‘Those who sow in tears
    Will reap with shouts of joy.’
    I took them personally as a word and promise from God… that one day… one day.. I would know the joy of the Lord. I was holding fast to his word his promise to never leave nor forsake me…
    I’m afraid there is no masking the loss of your child… there is no hiding the heart that breaks with each breathe.. that you live and she is gone..
    But God…

    Oh but God.. he absolutely as most of you know assured me of where my girl was and the joy and beauty of where she was, that I, look forward, knowing that one day I will also know this place called eternity.
    For now God’s word, His promises, His gift of the picture of where my daughter is, this Psalm have guide me to be the person I am today.. not free from the sadness, but living in the joy of Christ… who has restored my laughter, my Hope, my song…
    ‘The Lord has done great things for me…
    And he will do great things for all who believe… Amen..

    Praying you know the joy of the Lord Sisters…with love.. xx

    • Cindy

      God bless you Tina. You have a beautiful heart and a love
      for the Lord. God is so good! Thank you for sharing.

    • C Gunckel

      Thank you Tina……..

    • Rhona

      Tina, my prayers are with you. I’m going through the loss of my baby/pregnancy and every day seems harder than the previous one. I’m hoping for the moment of living in joy once again. I’m so happy you have found joy in Christ. God Bless you.

      • Tina

        Rhonda, hurting, because you are hurting, I am so very sorry for your loss….
        There has been a journey i have been on to get to today, this point, and to write as I do about our God…His grace and love and presence, the hope He has given me and the restoration of a joy that I would have believed was lost to me forever… because I believed the best of me went with my daughter, my heart died too… but God…but for God..
        I pray in the faith and knowledge that Our God is good, faithful and keeps His promises, that He will restore the hopes and joys of your heart, that though the pain and sadness is with your forever, you know that peace that only God can give… He loves you Rhonda, absolutely, totally and with all He has, He loves you… He will restore your joy, your song, your hopes and dreams…
        Sending love wrapped hugs filled with hope, and the peace of God.. xxxxxx

    • She Reads Truth

      Thank you for sharing this, Tina. Always encouraged by your words and moved to pray. Grateful to have you in this community.

      – Stormye

  • As a young adult, I thought we had it all figured out. I was gonna do so much better than the then aging generation… Life revealed my pride and absolutes… And the fact that the source of joy/sense of happiness was more from RELIGIOUS and self accomplishment and control than trust in The Father…

    The process of disillusionment is always hard. The realization of masks that we don’t even realize are there can be very uncomfortable… But God is SO faithful to use all things to turn our hearts to Him and His ways. Through life-lessons we get to KNOW HIM… we learn that we can TRUST for today and eternity.

    We learn that the tension is there to drive us to Him. When it’s most uncomfortable, my challenge is to not ignore it or deny it or run from it, but to take it to Him. To take my fearful and/or anxious thoughts and worries over the future OR current circumstances to Him is my greatest mountain. But this process forms my RELATIONSHIP with My Father.

    • Tammy

      P.S. SRT, I ❤ This particular devotional/study’s format!

      • Stephanie

        Me too! I appreciate Me too! I appreciate having questions to journal about.

      • She Reads Truth

        So glad you love it! Thank you for letting us know, Tammy!

        – Stormye

  • John Piper writes about verses 5-6 as tending to our everyday work alongside our sorrow. We may be in tears as we go about our job, housework, school, etc, but we know the work of sowing must be done if we are to reap our harvest. But what spurs us forward to do this among our tears? The example of sowing being turned into a harvest parallels the truth that our sorrow will be turned into eternal joy. So we go forward with our day, perhaps literally in tears, holding onto hope that just as that our work will bear fruit, our tears will bear forth joy.
    Today’s lesson was timely for me as I’ve been self-examining if I am suppressing emotions of grief and sorrow, and how those are manifesting themselves in my life through stress, physical pains, anxiety, and depression. I need clarity from the Spirit and acceptance of the truth that God allows these emotions and wants me to live experiencing (vs suppressing) them.

    • Nancy Beach

      I was wondering if that was what verses 5-6 meant. Thanks for sharing.

    • She Reads Truth

      Thank you so much for sharing this today, Amylou. Grateful for your words and for the connection you’ve made here.

      – Stormye

  • candacejo

    Count it all joy. Joy isn’t happiness. Happiness depends on how we feel and joy is internal, deep, abiding contentment that only comes from God! Even when life is upside down and seemingly falling apart we can be assured that our God is in control and no matter what comes our way here…we have a hope that is greater than this life ♥ Maybe this post will encourage you to count it all joy! http://www.hopeinthehealing.com/2017/05/09/count-it-all-joy/

  • My most joyful time was one of my most pain-filled times as well. A coupe of years ago as we received the diagnosis of Alzheimer for my mother, life was in turmoil. Her behavior from the disease was erratic and definitely not the mother/person I knew. My elderly dad didn’t really understand but tried valiantly to be her caretaker until it became clear that he could no longer do so. This time was filled with much grief and sorrow and yet unbelievable joy. That Christmas, everywhere I turned I saw the word “joy”and knew that I must hold on to the hope we have in Christ. That sorrow-filled joy was deep and personal. God gave me moments with both of my parents that would not come if it had not been for the disease.
    Both of my parents have gone on to be with Jesus. I was blessed to be with both of them when they passed. The joy I have on earth is but a taste of the eternal joy they are now experiencing in His presence.

    • candacejo

      Beautiful story of God’s faithfulness in the midst of difficulty. Blessings to you ♥

    • Emily Carson

      Thank you for sharing Laryssa! I checked here, wondering who I could pray for, and instead found myself blessed reading your story. Such Grace.

    • Emily B.

      How awesome that God turned your harvest of tears into a harvest of joy. Thank you for sharing with us!

    • Kimberly

      The same thing happened to me! My closest times with God were my darkest hours. My daddy was diagnosed with Frontal Temporal Dementia (early onset dementia) and passed away a year ago this month. But there are these glorious moments I had with him as a result of the disease. And I had one desire, to be with him when he took his last breath and through a series of miracles I was. Now I just lost another loved one unexpectedly and way to early. I am trying to learn to live it that nearness to God always, not just when tragedy strikes. I don’t know why it is so hard to do so when life is what we think it ought to me.

      • She Reads Truth

        Kimberly, praying for you in what seems like a season of loss. Asking the Lord to continue to draw you near and close in these times of sadness and confusion. Thank you for sharing this morning.

        – Stormye

    • She Reads Truth

      Thank you so much for sharing this, Laryssa. Grateful for the reminder to seek His joy no matter the circumstance. So glad you stopped by today.

      – Stormye

  • Question 1 stuck out to me today. When I reflect on the times that I had that kind of joy, it reminded me that each time I feel it, it is through some realization of how great He is! Those are the times that stick out…not gaining material items. Sometimes I spend so much time striving for the things of this world. But it’s amazing how all of the unimportant gains pale in comparison to God revealing himself or his plan to me.

  • Tochi Heredia

    I am currently going through a season of pain. But for some reason I don’t have the urge to mask it —this is definitely a fist for me.
    I try to be mindful of the pain, to feel it, to let it remind me that I deserve much worse if it wasn’t for Jesus.
    But it’s hard. Society tells us that we need to make ourselves feel better, to ignore the pain and move on, and to put a mask on to hide our weaknesses. Seriously, if I hear the words “self care” one more time, I swear I’m gonna punch a wall.

    The Kingdom’s reality is so, so different. The pain is a wake up call, it’s an opportunity to put our lives in God’s hands, to depend on Him for everything, to surrender control.
    It’s a reminder of what is to come.

    “Therefore we do not give up. Even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day. For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory. So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” —2 Corinthians 4:16-18

    • candacejo

      Praying for you today, Tochi!

    • Emily Carson

      Thank you for letting us walk this with you, Tochi, and for not masking here with us. Praying His ease for you today and His Strength.

    • SuzD

      Thank you for sharing. Your words resonate with me. You are in my heart and in my prayers.

    • She Reads Truth

      Tochi, this was so wonderful. Thank you for sharing. May we all be encouraged to depend on God for our every need in every situation. Continuing to pray for you, friend.

      – Stormye

  • churchmouse

    Happiness is fleeting but joy has deep roots. Sadness can also be fleeting but sorrow… Sorrow has deep roots also. There is indeed a holy tension between the two and yes they can coexist. It is the truth of Scripture that overrides them both. Mourning yet joy. The cross, yet the empty tomb. We do well to keep both in perspective by holding on to His promises. Therein is the Truth of both.

  • Catherine Jackson

    I am studying abroad in the UK right now. Here, I have experienced the type of sorrow this Psalm describes. I’ve experienced this sorrow when loneliness or trials have invoked my fears and anxieties about the future. At the same time, I’ve also experienced the joy that comes from knowing God is the one constant thing in my life. No matter where I am, who I am with, or what I am doing in life, God is always present and sovereign. No matter what my circumstances entail, he never changes. As I prepare to return home to America in the next few weeks, I needed this reminder. The transition from my life abroad back home is bittersweet. I know those moments of uncertainty life after college and moments of adjustment as I return home will be hard. But, God will be there. To answer question number 3, he gives us scripture to cling to and a community of followers to encourage us. Throughout this semester of excitement, adventure, and trials, I have found peace in his promises.

    • Alex

      Wow, that’s inspiring. Thank you for sharing. I’m studying as well and working part-time and it is SO difficult sometimes. But I find rest in God- he is always there. Good luck returning to the U.S! (I am from the U.S., but currently live in Spain :)

    • Regine

      I’m a student as well, in Germany. I went abroad to the UK for a year before I started. I had the best community there and struggled a lot coming back and moving to a new place. I felt very lonely but could also experience great joy just about who God is! It’s so true what you say about scripture to cling to, someone gave me Psalm 23,1 at the beginning: I shall not be in want. And he kept his promises! He gave me an awesome church and everything! Be blessed with a peace in the midst of all changing! And that you can laugh with no fear of the future like the woman in Proverbs! He loves to give us abundantly. Hugs!!

    • She Reads Truth

      Thank you for sharing this, Catherine. So encouraged by your words this morning and grateful for you.

      – Stormye

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