5/19/19 - Joy Comes in the Morning

“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.” (Psalms 30:5)

Don was young and filled with hope for a career in music with his wife and another couple. He dove off the diving board at a motel pool and struggled to come up. His wife and a friend jumped in to pull him out. He had not struck his head and there were no apparent injuries. This young man in his 20’s had suffered a stroke and could not even speak. Recovery would take years of therapy, physical and emotion. However, he never let go of his hope in God. He recited the words of David, “Joy comes in the morning!”

The devil often tempts us to give up on life and to give up on God. The wicked tempter lies to us about the future trying to get us to think that things will never get better. Nothing pleases him more than to see people wallowing in self-pity, trembling before unreasonable threats, and falling helpless when they could be doing something about their circumstances. Bad things happen and problems come our way, but we must never give up.

Sometimes suffering comes to us because of our own mistakes or wrong-doings. God, our loving Heavenly Father sometimes uses our suffering to punish us. He does not always bail us out and allows us to endure the consequences of our actions. “Be not deceived, God is not mocked, for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Galatians 6:7). It is foolish for us to think we can carelessly sow our wild oats and then pray to God for a crop failure. “For whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives. If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten” (Hebrews 12:6,7). Perhaps the suffering is coming directly from God. We should embrace the suffering instead of continuing to resist His loving correction and learn our lesson. “For His anger is but for a moment; His favor is for life” (Psalms 30:5a). Let us strive with everything that is in us to be pleasing to Him in every thought, word, and deed.

Sometimes suffering comes upon us with no explanation or reason. It may not be a direct act of God’s discipline. It may not be a particular temptation from Satan (though he will use it against us if we let him). We live in a broken, sin-filled world which is plagued by all sorts of bad things that happen to good and bad people alike. Just as God causes the sun and the rain to come upon the just and the unjust (Matthew 5:45), so bad things come on the good and the bad. What matters is how we respond with faith, conviction, endurance, and hope.

We now live in the night of weeping. Struggles, temptations, problems, and sadness is in the world all around us. But remember that “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning!” (Psalms 30:5b).