The Joy of HarvestYou have multiplied the nation and increased its joy; They rejoice before You according to the joy of harvest, as men rejoice when they divide the spoil. Isaiah 9:3 NKJVHarvest requires work, patience, and facing challenges, but results in great joy. May we labor not for that which perishes, but that which endures unto everlasting life. The accepted season for securing spiritual blessings is now, for this is the day of salvation.Reaping is not easy and requires spreading manure, plowing, sowing, and watering previous to the joy of harvest. A farmer’s hands are full of labor and not the bread of idleness. He knows nothing valuable is obtained without diligence and difficulty. Yet it would not be valuable or joyful if it was acquired without pain and price. As you ponder this writing, remember that God does not believe and repent, but gives us grace to believe and repent. Our help is found in Him. Patience is required, for a farmer sows in hope. Weeks and months pass before the joy of harvest. The farmer waits for the early and latter rain. He waits as Abraham, who, after enduring, received the promise. The day will come when it’s time to put the sickle in the ripe harvest.Challenges must be faced as the seed is hidden in the soil to die before it springs up. The farmer faces the weather, doubts, and concerns. In ministry, one must face fear and wandering thoughts with assurance from the Word and what God has spoken to the heart.The joy of harvest is great. “He that sowed and he who reaps now rejoice together,” David said. “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.” In Scotland years ago, many would reap to the sound of someone playing the bagpipes, making the labor easier, and if the poor farmhands rejoice, think of the owner! Let us be thankful for the promised harvest of souls. God has prepared of His goodness for the poor. He shall satisfy our souls also with His goodness.May we live not by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.Laboring in His Field,Pastor Jay T. Francis* Based on September 11th’s reading in Morning Exercises for the Closet by William Jay. Published 1863 by the American Tract Society.