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.
-Psalm 126:5-6 (CSB)
The concept of reaping what you sow is one of the most established ideas in all of Scripture. From Old Testament to New, it is clear that we live in a world of cause and effect, where “whatever a person sows he will also reap,” (Gal. 6:7). This is true with our spiritual life, our finances, our relationships, and more. It is rightly discussed often in churches and Christian life. When we follow the commands found in Scripture, we will reap the blessings of a closer walk with God.
But what about when we find ourselves in rough terrain? When the ground we are supposed to be sowing is anything but fertile. When we aren’t seeing the fruit of our labor? How do we continue sowing the seeds of a Spirit filled life when we are found in a desert?
During these difficult times, the temptation will come to seek peace through other means. After days, weeks, months, or years of sowing seeds of righteousness and obedience without any apparent change, many turn away from God to pursue deliverance elsewhere. In doing so, they run from the one who gives living water, and chase after the mirage of fulfillment that the world offers.
Persistent sowing, even in tears, will result in a harvest. God is faithful. No matter what situation you find yourself in now, know that God is still with you. He sees your tears, He hears your cries, and He implores you to not give up. If you find yourself trying to grow a garden in the middle of a desert, here are three things the believer must remember:
1. Remember what fruit you are trying to grow.
The prize of Christianity was never an easy life. Jesus promised his disciples the opposite. The prize of Christianity is Christ. Closeness to the Father, becoming a co-heir with Jesus. The fruit we will see when we continue to trust God will not always be evident in our circumstances, but in a closer walk with Him.
2. Remember that God offers unconditional peace.
Philippians 4 tells us to stop worrying about things, and begin talking to God about them. The result of this will be “peace that surpasses all understanding.” This means peace that arrives before circumstances change. This defies understanding because to the world, our mindset and the position of our heart should not change unless our situation does. But for the Christ-follower, peace is granted that is not dependent on any external circumstance.
3. Remember that God is unconditionally faithful.
God’s faithfulness to us is not based on our attitude or behavior, it is based on His character. This is why Hebrews 10:23 says, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.” Our hope is not in our own ability to earn God’s grace, but in Jesus Christ, who willingly gave Himself up for rebellious sinners. We know that God will sustain us in hard times because it’s in His nature to show lavish kindness to His children. Even if we have at times turned from God, He will remain faithful.
Time and time again, God has proven to be faithful. No matter what environment we find ourselves, we are to continue sowing seeds of righteousness and obedience, knowing that in due time, we will reap a harvest of joy.