“Sing praise to the Lord, you saints of His, and give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name. For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:4-5
Why is it that when we’re in a state of happiness and things are going well that we know that it’s not going to last but when we’re in a state of despair and things are going from bad to worse that we think it will be that way for the rest of our short lives?
This isn’t a new thing. The wicked in Isaiah’s day believed this way and it was reflected in their saying, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!”, Isaiah 22:13.
I know it’s true that life is uncertain and frequently difficult but a big part of the uncertainty is the fact that frequently good things happen and blessings are given to us, often times more often and in greater quantity than the difficulties. Just as surely as we know that the times of peace, pleasure and rest will come to an end we can also be sure that the times of pain, sadness and toil will be ended as well.
As Mark Lowry likes to say, and I paraphrase, “Nothing comes to stay. Everything comes to pass.”
Many times the difficulties we experience are the result of our own bad choices and the seeming absence of God’s presence in our lives is the distancing he’s let us experience so that we would better appreciate his presence and not demonstrate our indifference to him by taking him for granted.
Our focus text tells us that experience has taught David that God doesn’t punish us forever, “For His anger is but for a moment…”. Discipline is a temporary measure designed and calculated to result in correction. David knows that God’s anger doesn’t reflect his attitude toward us, that’s why he writes, “His favor is for life…” God’s purpose isn’t for us continually languish in our guilt and grief. True, genuine conviction will result in sorrow, repentance, and confession but once these have done their work and achieved their intended result that state of being is to be replaced by the joy that comes with forgiveness and transformation. “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.”
O God, author of joy and all happiness worth having. Thank you for the times of difficulty that you’ve given to correct and change me according to your purpose. And I thank you that life is not always one continual experience of difficulties followed by trials, but that we experience blessings and joys interspersed all throughout our lives.