Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

God:The Source of all Joy
Joy in Difficult Times

Psalm 126:1-6

Blessen Kurian, NY

Those who go out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, carrying their sheaves.
It’s hard to see hope when we’re going through difficult times. Issues with our health, family life, financial situation, and world events bring on anxiety that can be hard to look beyond.  However, when we look at Psalm 126, we see that while there are difficult times, the work that is put forth results in joy.  Exploring this Psalm a little deeper, we see the following transition:

1.       The Past – The song remembers good times that have passed, and talks about the outsiders’ impression of the Israelites. They are perceived to have the Lord’s favor, because their community is filled with laughter and joy.
2.       The Present – There are difficulties in their current situation, and they’re asking the Lord for a return to the prosperous days, where they are together, and happy.
3.       The Future –The struggles and the work that they endure now, will result in songs of joy. 
For those of us who are unfamiliar with some of the terms from this Psalm, ‘sow’, means to plant, and ‘sheaves’ are bundles of stalks of grain. The sheaves are the harvest from the sowing that is done at the beginning of the season.
Now, we know the fruit of the Spirit includes joy (Galatians 5:22), but how often are we fully of joy in difficult times? If we look at the news today, we constantly see heartbreaking images of conflict, death, and illness. In our own lives, we may struggle with economic, physical, or emotional hardships. It is in these times that we are called to do more, and sow the seeds for our master. We have an obligation to bring the fruit of the Spirit to this world full of chaos.
As Christians, we are expected to struggle and endure hardships. Through the issues we face, the failures we endure, and the struggles we encounter, we have the opportunity to reflect hope for a wonderful future.  When we look at Luke 10:20, Christ teaches us that our joy is not because of what we accomplish here on earth, but because our names are written in Heaven!  

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for continuing to carry me through difficult times. Help me to remember that through all the successes and challenges in my life, you are the source of joy and strength. Amen!

Thought for the day:  “Though the sorrow may last for the night, his joy comes with the morning!” – Darrell Evans