Today’s Scripture: They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him. Psalm 126:5-6  

Dear friend, are you laboring in sadness and sowing in sorrow? While there is a time for mourning, we must remember there are sheep who need our support and love. One commentator said, “No partial affection for those who are lost can excuse neglect for those who are saved.”

David Brainerd wrote the following in his journal sixteen days before he died, “My sinking spirits were revived and raised, and I felt animated in the service God has called me to. This was the dearest hour I have enjoyed for many days, if not weeks. I found an encouraging hope, that something would be done for God, and that God would use and help me in his work. And oh, how sweet were the thoughts of laboring for God, when I felt any spirit and courage, and had any hope that ever I should be succeeded!”

You must continue forward. You might mourn over opportunities lost. You might feel like your church isn’t ever going to grow since you have recently lost some people.

You might think you will never be successful in the kingdom of God because you keep going through hard times. And yet, we see from Samuel a way to go forward, a way to remember Who is the true Shepherd of our souls. Just as Samuel was told to arise and fill his horn with oil, so I encourage you to do the same. God still has a purpose for you. A preacher told me once he couldn’t understand why I got so hurt when people were against me and attacked me. Then he went through similar hard times in his own congregation, and he told me later he was sorry he hadn’t understood my pain before.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder