Song of Freedom
Lord, You have turned my sorrow to joy, my weeping to dancing. You, O Lord, have done great things for me!
How has God set you free?
Perhaps you have read Nelson Mandela's book Long Walk to Freedom, or read other stories of prisoners who have been released or refugees who escaped from war zones. Imprisonment is an unnatural, alien state. The cry of the human heart is for freedom. The manifesto of the Messiah was "to proclaim freedom for the captives" (Isa. 61:1).
Here, the psalmist reflects on the amazing joy of liberation after the return from exile. Their lives in captivity had been hard and weary, and tears had been many. But God had not only brought them out of exile, he had brought them in to Zion, a place where they could start to rebuild their lives. Like the dry water courses in the Negev that can be transformed by sudden rains into flowing rivers (4), God had turned their lives around.
The psalmist has learned a principle: persevere in faith! His experience has taught him that seed sown produces a harvest, and harvest brings joy (5). There is still hard work to do. There will be more tears (6), but God brings fruitfulness out of pain, joy out of sorrow, and life out of death.
Look at an area in which you are experiencing hardship and ask God to show you how he is preparing you for blessing.
Father, give me a heart of expectation to see my difficulties making a path in the desert, waiting to become a stream.
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