August 4, 2016

Psalm 126:5-6 Those who sow in tears
will reap with songs of joy.
He who goes out weeping,
carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy,
carrying sheaves with him.

From our standpoint the number of people who have been encouraged and comforted by this passage is literally countless, but God knows not only the number, but also their names and all the details. The thing is, we are often caught up in circumstances that look absolutely bleak to us, but God sees the harvest that is yet to come, perhaps even after we are gone from the scene. This is especially important to remember here in Japan, where many have labored for the Kingdom for over a hundred years now, with remarkably little visible results. As with the saints mentioned in Hebrews 11, to date we haven’t seen the things for which we have believed, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t coming. Conversely, this passage also applies to the America of today, which is in a horrible mess. It is not wrong to weep over the state of the nation, but we must remember that the final outcome is in God’s hands, and our labor will be rewarded. (1 Corinthians 3:8, 2 Chronicles 15:7, Hebrews 10:35) The important thing is never to give up, but walk in consistent faithfulness, leaving the results in God’s hands.

This is, of course, intensely personal for me, since my father arrived in Japan in 1934 and my mother in 1935 and I am carrying on even today. My father received accolades, and one of the highest awards available to a foreigner in Japan was given at the time of his death, but he never saw the kind of results he desired. My mother told me that at one point my father lay on the floor before the Lord and cried out, “If I am what is keeping Japan from revival, then take me out of the way!” I certainly identify with that! It seems that no victory comes easily, and some seeming victories are illusory. Right now we are presented with the potential of land next to the church building on which to build a senior care facility, but obstacles keep coming up. Such a facility would have meaning only to the degree that it accurately demonstrated the love and grace of God so as to lead people to repentance and faith. I am not to be distracted by the physical details, either of acquiring the land or of building and running the facility, but rather on the purpose of leading people into eternal life while there is still time. I must remember that I have the highest quality seed, and plant, water, and harvest as the Lord directs.

Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for the things that have happened even in the past couple of days to remind me that You are still in control, whatever things might look like at the moment. I do pray that every lying stronghold of the enemy in this nation be torn down, by Your children wielding Your Word of Truth in grace, love, and power, so that all the people may be set free to repent and believe, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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