I did not grow up on a farm but I notice this: A farmer prepares and fertilizes the soil, plants seed, waters them, then waits for the harvest. He waits because it takes time for seeds to germinate, sprout, and grow. But he is willing to wait because he expects a payoff in the end. That process illustrates a principle in the life of a Christian believer. We go through all kinds of experiences in life—much like Christian in the story of John Bunyan’s “Pilgrim’s Progress.” In that allegory, Christian faced Mr. Hopeful, Giant Despair, Doubting Castle, Mr. Cruelty, Mr. Feebleminded, Mr. Ready to Halt, and a few others. Like Christian in Pilgrim’s Progress, people of faith learn they must labor and wait for the harvest. The ancient prophet Micah spoke for many in chapter 7 when he said, “As for me, I look to the LORD for help. I wait confidently for God to save me, and my God will certainly hear me. Do not gloat over me, my enemies! For though I fall, I will rise again. Though I sit in darkness, the LORD will be my light. I will be patient as the LORD punishes me, for I have sinned against him. But after that, he will take up my case and give me justice for all I have suffered from my enemies. The LORD will bring me into the light, and I will see his righteousness.” God’s people know that even though weeping may last through the night, joy comes with the morning. God will ultimately fulfill all He has promised His dearly loved children.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr. is the founder and chairman of UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.). Under his direction, UMI has grown to be a leading publisher of Christian education resources for churches in the African American community. Read More

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