"I planted the seed... but God made it grow." I Cor. 3:6
By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept
when we remembered Zion.
There on the poplars we hung our harps,
for there our captors asked us for songs,
our tormentors demanded songs of joy;
they said, "Sing us one of the songs of Zion!"
How can we sing the Lord's songs
while in a foreign land?
NO EASY PATH
Scripture makes it plain that the way of the wicked is hard. This does not
mean that the path for Christians is easy. In many places Scripture indicates
that the believer's path will be "the way of the cross." Joseph
endured years of imprisonment for his having followed his conscience instead
of the easy path of compromise. Elijah went into hiding, as did Paul. One
important difference for those in God's care is the solace of His Presence
and His Promises. God's hand holds back the stormy seas which would overwhelm
us. "This far and no further!" He says to the storm. He sets the
boundaries, and promises that our cross will be no more than we can bear.
And of greater significance still, when this life is done, we have been
promised a Home where there will be no more tears. And rewards! Hence, those
who know Him are able to say, like Paul, "Our present sufferings are
not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us." Romans
Restore our fortunes, O Lord,
like streams in the Negev.
Those who sow in tears
will reap with songs of joy.
He who goes out weeping,
carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy,
carrying sheaves with him.
"Your sun will set no more,
neither will your moon wane;
for you will have the Lord for an everlasting light,
and the days of your mourning will be finished."
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