“The Heart Shall Reap in Joy”

"They that sow in tears shall reap in joy" (Ps. 126.5)

     INTRO.: A hymn which tells us that the Lord wants us to work as sowers of His seed is "The Heart Shall Reap in Joy" (#582 in Sacred Selections for the Church). The text was written by Miss Ada Powell.  The tune was composed by Austin Hazelwood. I have been unable to find any information about either of them, the date of the song, or its origin of publication, except that Miss Powell also provided the text for "Sing to Me of Heaven" and she and Mr. Hazelwood also collaborated on another song that has appeared in some of our books, "There’s a Crown for Your Cross." Among hymnbooks published by members of the Lord’s church during the twentieth century for use in churches of Christ, "The Heart Shall Reap in Joy" appeared in the 1938 Spiritual Melodies, the 1943 Standard Gospel Songs, and the 1965 Great Christian Hymnal No. 2 all edited by Tillit S. Teddlie; the 1940 Praise and Revival Songs and the 1952 Hymns of Praise and Devotion both edited by Will W. Slater; the 1959 Majestic Hymnal No. 2 and the 1978 Hymns of Praise both edited by Reuel Lemmons; and the 1963 Abiding Hymns edited by Robert C. Welch. Today it may be found in the 1971 Songs of the Church edited by Alton H. Howard; in addition to Sacred Selections.

The song emphasizes the importance of sowing the seed that we might reap the harvest.

I. Stanza 1 refers to sowing the seed
"Some golden day the heart shall reap What once in tears was sown,
And longing eyes shall never weep, Nor feet shall walk alone."
 A. "Some golden day" undoubtedly looks forward to the final day when we shall reap what we have sown: Gal. 6.8
 B. The Lord wants us to be sowers in His field: Matt. 13.3-9
 C. He has promised that as long as we go about doing His will, we shall never walk alone because He will be with us: Matt. 28.18-20

II. Stanza 2 refers to reaping the harvest
"That seed, though sown in darkest night, Shall one day bloom and bear,
And gleaners in the morning light Will find the harvest there."
 A. The seed that God wants us to sow in His word: Lk. 8.11
 B. If we plant and water, the seed shall one day bloom and bear because God will give the increase: 1 Cor. 3.5-7
 C. We may not necessarily see the harvest in our lifetime, but if we have done our work well, others may come along and glean the harvest: Jn. 4.35-38

III. Stanza 3 refers to the final day
"That golden day is free from fears, And cares no more annoy;
The heart that oft has sown in tears Shall reap someday in joy."
 A. Those who have been faithful in doing the Lord’s work will have no reason to fear: 2 Tim. 1.7, 1 Jn. 4.18
 B. Cares will no more annoy them because God will wipe away all such things: Rev. 21.4
 C. Even though they may have sown in tears, after that final day the faithful will enter into the joy of the Lord: Matt. 25.21

     CONCL.: The chorus continues to remind us of the joyful reward that will come from sowing for the Lord.
"The heart shall reap in joy, The heart shall reap in joy;
The heart that oft has sown in tears Shall reap someday in joy."
As we labor for the Lord here in this life, it should give us great comfort and encouragement to know that if we will serve Him faithfully, no matter what else happens to us on earth, "The Heart Shall Reap in Joy."


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