Joy comes in the morning
Psalm 30 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
Thanksgiving for Deliverance from Death. A Psalm of David.
I will extol You, O Lord, for You have lifted me up,
And have not let my enemies rejoice over me.
2 O Lord my God,
I cried to You for help, and You healed me.
3 O Lord, You have brought up my soul from Sheol;
You have kept me alive, that I would not go down to the pit.
4 Sing praise to the Lord, you His godly ones,
And give thanks to His holy name.
5 For His anger is but for a moment,
His favor is for a lifetime;
Weeping may last for the night,
But a shout of joy comes in the morning.
6 Now as for me, I said in my prosperity,
“I will never be moved.”
7 O Lord, by Your favor You have made my mountain to stand strong;
You hid Your face, I was dismayed.
8 To You, O Lord, I called,
And to the Lord I made supplication:
9 “What profit is there in my blood, if I go down to the pit?
Will the dust praise You? Will it declare Your faithfulness?
10 “Hear, O Lord, and be gracious to me;
O Lord, be my helper.”
11 You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
You have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness,
12 That my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.
David says: Sing praise to the Lord, you His godly ones, And give thanks to His holy
For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for a lifetime; Weeping may last for the night,
But a shout of joy comes in the morning. Like David, we all experience times when it may seem like God is angry at us. Something or perhaps most everything has not turned out well. David says: “His anger is but for a moment.” The truth is the things that go wrong in our lives really have nothing to do with God’s anger, His wrath. God does not punish us on a regular basis for our failures, shortcomings and sin. There is only one punishment for sin. Romans 6:23 says: For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Death, physical and spiritual death is the punishment for sin, but Jesus gives eternal life. Jesus, died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God. (1 Peter 3:18) There is no longer a need for God to punish us for our sin. He is not angry with us. God says: “Behold, days are coming, says the Lord, When I will effecta new covenant…I will put My laws into their minds, And I will write themon their hearts. And I will be their God, And they shall be My people. “And they shall not teach everyone his fellow citizen, And everyone his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ Forall will know Me, From the least to the greatest of them. “For I will be merciful to their iniquities, And I will remember their sins no more.” (Hebrews 8:8-12)
God is not angry with us about our sin. If we are in Christ, our sins have been paid for, once for all. God is not angry about them, He no longer remembers them. The truth is indeed: His favor is for a lifetime. In fact God’s favor lasts more than a lifetime, it is eternal. The weeping, which lasts for a night, the times of sadness we experience, are times when the things of this world separate us from the love of God. These are not all things we have done wrong. They are not all within our control. When we lose a loved one for exampl, we experience a dark time. It is not wrong for us to grieve. God doesn’t get angry that we weep and mourn. Jesus Himself says: “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4) That is more than a line of comfort from a sympathy card. That is a promise from the God who created the universe. He promises to comfort those who mourn, so it is normal, natural, expected that we will go through those nights of weeping.
There is a key in what David says: “But a shout of joy comes in the morning.” There is a difference between joy and happiness. Nehemiah 8:10 says: Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength. Happiness and sadness are emotions, they are things we feel. Joy on the other hand is a spiritual quality we can have in Christ. Galatians 5:22-23 contrasts the deeds of the flesh with the fruit of the spirit. It says: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Joy, unlike happiness, is a spiritual gift we are given through faith in Jesus Christ. It is an unexplainable quality we can have even as we face the dark nights of weeping and mourning. Along with joy comes peace, God’s peace, a peace which Philippians 4:7 says: …surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
David shares a secret of knowing the joy, comfort and peace of God during the dark nights. He says: “N ow as for me, I said in my prosperity, I will never be moved.” David remained close to God, living a life of thanksgiving to God during the times of prosperity. David knew well that the good times, the times of achievement, success and prosperity were not of his own doing. He was never moved. He remained close to God, thankful in both the good and the difficult times. In Philippians 4:11-13, Paul is sharing about some of the difficulties, the hardships, the dark nights he has faced. He says: Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. We too can do all things, good and bad, times of prosperity and times of lack, whatever circumstance, all things through Christ who strengthens us with His joy, His peace, His comfort.
David says: “Hear, O Lord, and be gracious to me; O Lord, be my helper.” You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness, That my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever. May that also be our heart’s cry to God. May we say Amen.