I was meditating this morning on Psalm 126. I couldn’t help but simply rejoice in our great God at what the psalmist penned.
The LORD has done great things for us; we are glad. Restore our fortunes, O LORD, like streams in the Negeb. 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 (vv. 3-6).
God truly has done great things for us — the greatest of all being that he has redeemed us and given us new life in his Son. Because of this, we are glad! But what are we glad in? Is it the fact that we get to go to heaven? No. Is it because we no longer have to feel guilty? No. Is it because we have so many other benefits of salvation? No. We are glad in a person. We are glad in God. God makes us happy. He gives us our greatest joys. We are to rejoice in the Giver not the gift.
As the psalmist makes a paragraph break after verse 3, he writes about God restoring Israel’s fortunes and bringing joy. This connects so well with what I have been studying in 1 Peter. In 1 Peter 5:10 says, “And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.” The psalmist says, “Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy.” In other words, though you may cry for a while, a day is coming when all your tears will reap a harvest of joy (cf. Ps. 30:5)! And what is this joy in? It is in Christ — the glorious imprint of God’s nature. If there was a higher joy than Christ (i.e. the gifts he gives) then that would be receiving our praise more than God, which is a violation of the first commandment.
Remember what the Lord has done for you, that he gave himself as a sacrifice for your sin. Don’t look to the sin stained road behind you. Acknowledge that it is there, yes, but look ahead to the Captain of your salvation and be glad in him! Remember that your tears, though they seem to overwhelm in this life, will be wiped away by Jesus. Remember that the afflictions you suffer now are not even worthy comparing to the sheaves of joy you will inherit when you meet your Savior face to face in heaven.
The Lord has done great things for you and me. Let us be glad!