“When the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream. Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The Lord hath done great things for them. The Lord hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad. Turn again our captivity, O Lord, as the streams in the south. 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.”
Do you dream of better days? The circumstances of life can bring us into a place where we feel captive within our own hearts and minds. We long for deliverance from those that oppress us and from the circumstances that restrict us. But through it all we know that God is good. It is when we are tempted to hang our head low but we keep it up that the world around us wonders at what keeps us going. Our endurance through trials and our joy afterwards becomes a testimony that unbelievers cannot deny, “God did something great for them.”
When we have been brought through a hard trial we ought to celebrate. Celebration is something that has escaped us as a spiritual discipline. When we think of spiritual disciplines we can be tempted to think hard work. Fasting, prayer, bible study, are probably the first ones that come to mind. Certainly not celebration but it is. As believers it is important we learn to laugh and celebrate the rhythms of life. We are reminded by Nehemiah when they were discouraged to celebrate the holy day “for the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10). God has given us many wonderful gifts and, “We are invited to rejoice in every moment of life because every moment of life is a gift” (Ortberg, 2009, p. 64).
I have heard it said that one of the reasons that God allows suffering is so that true joy is magnified in the sight of His creation who have been robbed of joy by the evil one. Suffering usually brings with it tears. Burdens brings tears with it. We sow seeds of tears when we are hurting but eventually God brings the increase. Eventually God brings deliverance and with it we experience joy. We shall rise again with rejoicing.
Ortberg, John (2009-05-18). The Life You’ve Always Wanted: Spiritual Disciplines for Ordinary People. Zondervan. Kindle Edition.