Psalm 126:5 (English Standard Version)
Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy!
The background of this Psalm is the exile of God’s people in Babylon. After seventy years, the city of Jerusalem's protective wall was in ruins, and the land was desolated.
The psalmist used agricultural imagery to express the condition faced by those who would return. After the land had been neglected for so long, it was almost impossible to work it. The planting would be difficult, but persistence would surely bring a harvest.
The sowing with tears implies agonizing over the work. But the psalmist encouraged his readers not to give up. They would reap a joyful harvest if they continued in faith. He was convinced that continued labor, no matter how agonizingly difficult and frustrating, would result in more people returning to the land of Israel.
We can take God’s Word for today as a promise of future prosperity for our church. When the pandemic is over, there will be new challenges to face. The restoration of ministries will require agonizing new ways of thinking. It will require mental, physical, and spiritual labor that may bring tears.
But let’s approach our new challenges by looking forward to the joy of the new harvest the LORD will bring rather than the labor of tears.