Psalm 126:5-6 (ESV) “Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.”
This Psalm relates to the return of the Jews from their captivity in Babylon, sowing with tears and reaping with joy at being back home. Our Lord Jesus likened sharing the gospel message to planting seeds which sprout up and bear different results. Those who receive the good news in an honest and good heart and hold it fast can bear fruit one hundred times as great (Luke 8:8,15). This is what we would like to see!
I have been encouraging you to share your story and to share the gospel, to plant lots of seeds if we want to see a big harvest. When you share your personal story of coming to faith, you will rarely encounter a negative response. It is what happened to you, so what is there to criticize. You may have to overcome your fear of what others think of you (and you can!), but it rarely is sowing in tears.
However when you get into the essence of the gospel, that we are lost and in need of a Savior who calls us to repent and to live for Him, you may encounter many different responses that are painful and tearful. Someone might become angry at being told they are sinful. Another may just immediately reject what you are saying. Others may smile and say “oh that is nice for you” with the message apparently falling on deaf ears. All of these responses are painful. They can make you feel like crying, especially if you really care about the person with whom you are sharing.
The thought of these responses tends to dampen our enthusiasm for witnessing and causes us to be silent. The enemy certainly wants this to be the case. So we must overcome these fears and discouraging thoughts in order to be used by our Lord.
“Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy!” The Lord is encouraging us that He understands the pain and sorrow associated with trying to help people find their way back to Him. You must look beyond the possible anger, rejection or apathy to the reality of someone responding and putting their faith in Jesus. What a joy that is! It is so rewarding. It makes you glad that you pressed through the painful and sorrowful times in order to see someone born again and having personal joy in knowing Jesus Christ.
The harvest is always worth the tears. It is good to care about others and their need for Jesus. He is the one who said that they are lost and in danger of judgment. Caring has a cost. It becomes painful and we even shed tears over those we love.
I want to encourage you to bear that cost and shed those tears. This makes you like our Lord who wept over Jerusalem because they would not receive Him. Advancing the gospel in Boston is not easy. I want us to pick up our crosses and be those who sow lots of seeds, with tears if necessary, in order that we might be part of the harvest that God wants to bring here.
A big harvest requires lots of sowing. If we sow lots of seeds with tears God promises that there will be a joyful harvest. Let’s believe Him! Let’s offer ourselves to be His laborers where we live, work and study. Let’s not be afraid of crying over the responses of those we love. A shout of joy awaits you if you only believe and act.
I am seeking to sow in tears with you and to bear my cross too. Jesus is with us and will strengthen us!