During this season of Advent, we will be taking a break from our study in the Book of Mark and will instead offer daily devotionals for you to read aloud with your family, pertaining to this Advent season. We will resume our study of Mark in a few weeks.
A Harvest of Joy
“. . . They rejoice before you according to the joy of the harvest, . . .” Isaiah 9:3
With us, harvest doesn’t have the same impact on us city-dwellers as it did on those in Isaiah’s day. If their harvest failed, it meant starvation for thousands. However, we have our own harvest we depend on for well-being and happiness. Many know what it’s like when a corporation downsizes and families lose their income.
Still, there is another harvest as real and as solid, not controlled by economic concerns - a harvest that outlasts every upturn and downturn. During this season of Advent, it’s helpful to set our thoughts on the things that make up the joy of the harvest.
The joy of hope fulfilled.
We are called to live with hope. We are to move through life investing our time and treasures in others pursuing our opportunities while keeping our faith firmly focused on God. We work and wait in patience with hope, believing fully the harvest will come, and our faithfulness will be rewarded. How can one not rejoice with joy knowing God has seen and rewarded our dedication and obedience in the long dark nights of hard conflict. The harvest is the fulfillment of our toil.
The joy of thankfulness to God.
In the life of Israel, the joy of harvest was expressed in worship. They acknowledged it was God who provided for them, they were not content with feeling thankful, they expressed their gratitude in open worship. So it is with us, that we should meet together as God’s people, in God’s house, lift up our voices in praise for the joy of the harvest He has brought both in our hearts and life.
Jesus once compared His own life to that of a harvest, “unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, . . . it bears much fruit.” John 12:24. The result of His death and resurrection is a harvest of eternal life; for all who will receive Him, receive light and power, along with unending joy.
Decide today to hold onto the promise. “Those who sow in tears will reap in joy.” Psalm 126:5. Don’t give up on God’s faithfulness.