One of the saddest periods in the life of the Israelites was when they were taken out of the promised land, and were caused to live in the Babylonian captivity where Abraham had lived before God called him and brought him to Canaan.
It is then not difficult to understand the joy of the believing Israelites when they were allowed to come back to Canaan. We read in Psalm 126:1 that it was like a dream to do so. They laughed and sang and told the heathen that the Lord had done great things for them.
What is especially beautiful is that they also said in verse 5, "They that sow in tears shall reap in joy." This is explained in the next verse, where we read, "He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him."
That is our life here below. We have aches, sorrows, and pains; and these are going to increase as we approach the days of the Antichrist. The sovereign, almighty God gave us seed, namely, the beginning of a new spiritual life. And we are going to enjoy the harvest of that seed when Christ returns. We sow that seed, seeking spiritual growth. He gives the rain and sunshine and the fruit by His grace. And then we will be filled with heavenly joy.
Bear then in mind that a farmer prospers because God sends the rain and sunshine. Man has no control over these at all. If God does not give these, there is no harvest.
Remember also that God sent those evil descendants of Abraham to kill His Son, so that our sins might be blotted out, and our guilt removed. Although we may seek strength of faith in times of dreadful persecution, we may be absolutely sure that we will reap, that is, obtain the full salvation with joy when Christ returns.
God's church will have pain but will also reach heavenly blessedness.
Read: Psalm 126 .
¼ But if the principal teachers conduct themselves more coldly than they ought, it is principally the fault of the princes who, involved in their secular concerns, neglect the prosperity and purity of the church; or each one, contented with his own security, is indifferent to the welfare of others. Thus it comes to pass, that the members being divided, the body of the church lies disabled. – John Calvin to Cranmer