Sowing in Tears, Reaping in Joy

Psalm 126:1-6

BY She Reads Truth

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.


Psalm 126 (CSB)
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.


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.

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?


Post Comments (89)

89 thoughts on "Sowing in Tears, Reaping in Joy"

  1. Loreta says:

    I’m reading this passive with a somewhat heavy heart. It really tests the boundaries of my faith because I know I should trust him and trust that that the joys of heaven are far more spectacular then what is on this earth. But…I don’t want to be without joy in this world. Father I ask for you to restore my faith and trust that I am purposely placed in each season. Remind me Father, that You grant us joy whenever you are in our presence.

  2. Becky Corbin says:

    Love being a part of a Kingdom where nothing is wasted, and even mourning brings about a harvest. Praying into my current season and emotions- that they would glorify God, and in turn be fruitful for the Kingdom. Praying I embrace my feelings for what they are, positive or negative, and thank God for His redemptive work in & through them!

  3. Molly Gilbane says:

    What a wonderful reminder to lay our burdens at Christ’s feet. I feel great joy and comfort knowing the Lord walks alongside me through the painful times and through times of great joy. God is with us through it all. He cares deeply for us, no matter the season. Thank you Lord for Your divine comfort and bestowing a peace within me that only You can provide!

  4. Marie says:

    God reminds me of the joy of Heaven every time someone I know & love steps closer to deaths door. I cannot tell you how many dear believers from my church or people I’ve witnessed to have passed away in the past 5 years. I’m 25 & at least 3 of them were my age & on fire for God. Although there is pain in this life & misunderstanding it only reminds me that Heaven is the opposite. And Heaven gets sweeter by the day. Trials & loss here make us long for Heaven & for side-by-side fellowship with Our Savior, at last. ❤

  5. Caitie F says:

    God spoke to me through this passage, especially verse 6 that says “Those who sow in tears will reap with shouts of joy.” I have been in a dark place for several years now as I battle depression and bipolar disorder. I have sowed many tears. But this passage gives me hope and assurance that even if I never see it this side of heaven, I will reap with shouts of joy in the end. Praise be to God!

  6. Caitie F says:

    God spoke to me today with verse 5- this who sow in tears will real

  7. Elizabeth says:

    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.

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