My past week could best be described as… intense.
There were exciting events that were joyful to watch.
There were several agonizing setbacks that were painful to watch.
Several of the same events included elements of both joy and pain.
The writer of Psalm 30 seems to be describing such an intense time of joy and pain.
Psalm 30 – A psalm of David. A song for the dedication of the Temple.
I will exalt you, LORD, for you rescued me. You refused to let my enemies triumph over me.
O LORD my God, I cried to you for help, and you restored my health.
You brought me up from the grave, O LORD. You kept me from falling into the pit of death.
Sing to the LORD, all you godly ones! Praise his holy name.
For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime!
Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.
I love this description of God. Yes, at times God will be disappointed in us but like the ideal parent. Anger and disappointment lasts but a moment. But God’s love lasts a lifetime. Disappointments will come but joy will follow.
When I was prosperous, I said, “Nothing can stop me now!”
Your favor, O LORD, made me as secure as a mountain.
At times we are prosperous and there is a sense of fulfillment and security.
Then you turned away from me, and I was shattered.
I cried out to you, O LORD. I begged the Lord for mercy, saying,
“What will you gain if I die, if I sink into the grave?
Can my dust praise you? Can it tell of your faithfulness?
Then there are the painful times when there is a sense of helplessness and abandonment.
Here is the lesson…
At times we will experience both joy and pain.
The question: How will you respond?
The answer: Faith that God continues to love us in the midst of both joy and pain.
Hear me, LORD, and have mercy on me. Help me, O LORD.
Here is God’s prescription:
Have mercy on me
Continue to hear me as I come to you.
Have mercy on me when I fail you.
Help me learn and grow from my mistakes.
So, at the end of an intense week of joy and pain… what does God promise?
You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing.
You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy,
Mourning will turn to joyful dancing.
Clothes of mourning will be replaced by clothes of joy.
At the end of an intense week of joy and pain… how should we respond?
that I might sing praises to you and not be silent.
O LORD, my God, I will give you thanks forever!
Continue to sing praises and not be silent.
Continue to give God thanks forever.
Joni Eareckson Tada, because of a diving accident as a teenager is now a quadriplegic. Yet her ministry and faith in God is an example for us all. In her daily devotional she wrote the following prayer for today:
Lord and Savior, I have every confidence in your character. You are utterly reliable and truthful. Today, I am going to take you at your word even if doubts or fears arise. You have the words of life and I am happy to say, I believe the Lord!
My prayer for you today is that you will continue to have confidence in the character of God whether you are in the midst of joy or pain.
I pray you will continue to believe that God is utterly reliable and truthful.
I pray you will take God at His word even if doubts or fears arise.
I pray you will have the words of life today and be happy to say…
I believe the Lord!