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From the Pastor's Desk

Psalm 126 talks about bringing back the captivity of Zion. Some other translations make it a little clearer, describing it as God "restoring the fortunes of Zion" (126:1, 4). The Psalmist is recalling the joy that God's people experienced upon their return after exile. He says, "Restore our fortunes, Lord, like watercourses in the Negev." These were streams that overflowed south of Israel during the rainy season. He was longing for an overflow of God's blessing so that people might experience restoration and have their sorrow turned to joy.

This passage describes a turning that can come in life. Don't become complacent in your expectations. God is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think (Eph. 3:20). He can turn our sorrow into blessing.

Job experienced this after his ordeal (Job 42). His fortunes were restored. But the recovery of wealth and honor was probably the least significant thing given back to Job. He experienced a change of character through the process, divine healing, and a greater revelation of God than he had ever known before in all his life.

Those are the things we need most. It may have been a long and difficult season in which you feel that blessing was withheld from you. Pain and perplexity often precede promotion. But promotion does come. And it is not necessarily a higher position in the eschelons of men that we need most, though that may happen. It is a lifting to higher spiritual realities. It is a higher place of fuller intimacy, greater revelation, and of knowing God. That constitutes having our fortunes restored. "Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy. He who continually goes forth weeping, bearing seed for sowing, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him" (Ps. 126:5-6).

-Pastors Mark and Jennifer

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