“Suffering and Joy” 

Pastor David Moore  

New Testament reading: Romans 8:18-30 (NIV)  

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.  For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.  

We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies.  For in this hope we were saved.  But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have?  But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.  

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.  And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.  

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose. For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those He predestined, He also called; those He called, He also justified; those He justified, He also glorified.  

The people of God have always been acquainted with suffering and sorrow. Sorrow and tears are part of everyone’s journey with God; if there is no sorrow, there is no growth, no learning to trust God even though things aren’t the way we want them to be. ~D. Moore  

Psalm 126 is a “Psalm of Ascent,” the songs the Jewish pilgrims would say as they journeyed to the temple in Jerusalem for the celebration of the feasts. ~D. Moore  

The Psalms of the Ascent reminds us God loves His people, but we will suffer and grow under the weight of tragedy, just like the ancient Jews. ~D. Moore  

Being a Christ follower means being acquainted with sorrow. We must know sorrow to be able to fully appreciate joy. Joy costs pain, but the pain is worth it. After all, the murder had to take place before the resurrection. ~Katie Davis  

Old Testament reading:Psalm 126:1-6 (NIV)  

When the LORD brought back the captives to Zion, we were like men who dreamed. Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The LORD has done great things for them.” The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joyRestore our fortunes, O LORD, like streams in the Negev. Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joyHe who goes out weeping, carrying the seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying the sheaves with him.  

The Psalms describe incredible joy and also a time of weeping and sorrow. I know we can handle the joy and give praise to God. But I wonder about the effect of weeping and sorrow on us.  How will we deal with these emotions in our lives? ~D. Moore  

Psalm 126:5 Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy!

The life of faith in following Jesus is a life of weeping and rejoicing. Psalm 126 verses 1-2 is remembering how great God is, His strength in what He has done for Israel. Verses 4-6 are about restoring our future and the joy in our life. ~D. Moore  

Isaiah 53:3 A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.  

Expect to have sorrow and joy in your life as a Christian. The sorrow and the joy will be ever more intense because as Christians, God will replace our old hardened heart for a heart of flesh. ~D. Moore  

Ezekiel 36:26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.  

The rejoicing here in this world, in your life, is a foretaste of something coming that will be absolutely wonderful.  No more fear or weeping, sorrow, or pain. ~D. Moore  

Our new hearts will be less calloused, more feeling, less defined mechanisms, more compassionate, more loving, which means we are more attuned to God’s heart for people. ~D. Moore  

God had higher aspirations for humans. He knew better than we will that we are made in God’s image. ~D.  Moore  

If you have faith in God, sorrow will give way to joy. It has to. Sorrow is temporary, but joy is permanent in God.  

Biblical passages encourage us in times of sorrow:  

Psalm 30, Psalm 126, Jeremiah 31, Isaiah 61, John 16:20, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14, 2 Corinthians 4:17-18.  

Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. There is a promise word here I want to highlight. “Will.” Those who sow in tears will reap in He who goes out weeping, coming to seed to sow, will… restore our fortunes like a stream in the Negev (a dry desert).  

There are seeds waiting in the ground for water to come, and as it comes, when it comes, all the plants spring up and bloom really greatly, to take advantage of the short time when water is available.  We know that in times of dryness, there will be weeping, and there will be joy. It may be a long or short joy, quick harvest of joy in the desert. ~D. Moore  

God’s grace covers us. It is no longer my righteousness, it is Jesus’ righteousness, a gift I have received that has been paid for by my sins.  There is time for freedom in Christ. ~D. Moore  

Why me Lord? Why have you forsaken me? We know the answer to that. Jesus, who suffered an unjust death so we could be put into a right relationship with God. “I don’t know why I have to go through this time of sorrow, but if Jesus was willing to die for me, then I know there is going to be a way, that my tears will be sowing, joy will come back in sheaves.”  

Psalm 126:5-6 Those who sow in tears will reap in joy. He who goes out weeping, carrying seed for sowing, will certainly come again with joy, carrying his sheaves.  

God bless. I pray for an enriched experience in Christ this day, this week and for eternity.