Sermon Quotes: "From Tears to Shouts of Joy"

“It is to be feared that the Psalms are by no means prized as in earlier ages of the Church.” Charles Spurgeon

“Apart from biblical illiteracy, there are special reasons for neglect of the psalms. The language of poetry doesn’t easily connect in a sound-byte culture. The psalms call for time, not tweets-time to read, ponder, pray, digest. It’s easy to be too busy for the psalms. Then again, the strong emotions of the psalms make many modern people uncomfortable-which is ironic since our culture seems to feed on feelings. On top of everything else, strange to say, the psalms are just so…well…God intoxicated. We are fascinated with ourselves, the psalms are fascinated with God.” Richard Wells

“Let our hearts gratefully remember the former lovingkindness of the Lord. He did not merely lift us out of despondency, he raised us into wondering happiness. The Lord who alone turns our captivity, does nothing by halves: those whom he saves from hell he brings to heaven. He turns exile into ecstasy, and banishment into bliss. None of us are so happy as those who are newly turned and returned from captivity.” Charles Spurgeon

“So throughout this psalm laughter, singing and rejoicing often are the evidence of a salvation to which the recipients have contributed nothing but subsequent joy. We took no part in it. It was done for us-we woke up to find it was true.” Alec Motyer

“The two images of renewal are not only striking: they are complementary.The first of them is all suddenness, a sheer gift from heaven; the second is slow and arduous, with man allowed a crucial part to play in it.” Derek Kidner

“The psalm teaches the tough truth that there is work to be done whether I am emotionally up for it or not, and it is good for me to do it. Suppose you are in a season of heartache and discouragement, and it is time to sow seed. Do you say, ‘I can’t sow the field this spring, because I am brokenhearted and discouraged?’ If you do that, you will not eat in the winter. Suppose you say instead, ‘I am heartsick and discouraged. I cry if the milk spills at breakfast. I cry if the phone and doorbell ring at the same time. I cry for no reason at all, but I will take my bag of seeds and go out in the fields and do my crying while I do my duty. I will sow in tears.” John Piper

“So here’s the lesson: When there are simple, straightforward jobs to be done, and you are full of sadness, and tears are flowing easily, go ahead and do the jobs with tears. Be realistic. Say to your tears: ‘Tears, I feel you. You make me want to quit life. But there is a field to be sown (dishes to wash, car to be fixed, sermon to be written). I know you will wet my face several times today, but I have work to do and you will just have to go with me. I intend to take a bag of seeds and sow. If you come along then you will just have to wet the rows.’ Then say, on the basis of God’s word, ‘Tears, I know you will not stay forever. The very fact that I just do my work will in the end bring a harvest of blessing. I believe that the simple work of my sowing will bring sheaves of harvest. And tears will be turned to joy.’” John Piper