Weeping for the night, joy with the morning
March 26, 2020 | by: Whit Anderson | 3 Comments
Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning. — Psalm 30:5
Reading: Psalm 30
Three months ago, most of us had never heard of coronavirus. Now, it feels like it’s the only thing we hear about. Fear is palpable all around us as we witness empty grocery shelves, school closures, and shelter-in-place orders. We nervously walk past people in the grocery store, trying to maintain our six-foot barrier of social distance, wondering when all of this is going to end.
In Psalm 30, King David reminds us that life in this world can be hard. There will be times when either because of our own sin or simply because evil exists, we will experience difficult things that may tarry for the night. If you have struggled with sleeplessness, then you know what it’s like to lie awake waiting for the sun to rise, feeling like it will never come. Collectively, we are tarrying in the night, restlessly waiting for relief.
David tells us that joy comes with the morning. As surely as the sun will rise tomorrow morning, all of this will soon be over and we will look back on this fearful season with a renewed perspective. But, for now we have to wait for first light, and pray. How should we wait and pray in a time like this? David helps us.
In Psalm 30, David reflected on God’s faithfulness in the past to save him from his enemies, which gave him confidence for the present and the future. He prayed, “O Lord my God, I cried to you for help and you have healed me . . . you restored me to life from among those who go down to the pit” (vv. 2, 3).
David remembered God’s faithfulness to heal and deliver, which prompted him to come boldly to the throne of grace with cries for help. It wasn’t like David knew exactly how things were going to to work out. But he did know deep down in his heart that his heavenly Father cared about him and would make everything work out for his good in the end because his favor is for a lifetime (v. 5).
By faith, we can say the same thing . . . Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning. Rather than listening to the negative narratives that forecast gloom and doom, may our hearts be drawn to the one true narrative of God’s redeeming grace that we hear loud and clear through the inspired voices of God’s Word.
How can we know with certainty that joy will come in the morning? Because the greater son of David was willing to come down into the pit to rescue us from the sure destruction of sin, sickness, and yes, even death. The joy that comes in the morning is the joy of our salvation that fills us with an abiding hope that sustains us in good times and bad.
One final observation: Notice David’s confession in verse 6, “I said in my prosperity, I shall never be moved.” I have the same tendency, to think that I should somehow be immune to financial troubles or health problems. I’m not sure why I think like this, but I do. And for some reason, I am surprised, even fearful, when things don’t go as I expected.
Again, David urges us to come under the shelter of God’s grace. He says, “[When] you hid your face, I was dismayed . . . By your favor, you made my mountain stand strong” (v. 7). May we, too, find strength in God’s favor to stand strong, knowing that he will sustain us with his peace and presence, so that we, too, can say, “O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever” (v. 12).
Here are some questions to consider and discuss.
- Has the coronavirus pandemic, with all if its implications, made you more fearful than usual? If so, how? Be specific.
- David said in verse 4, “Sing praises to the Lord, O you his saints, and give thanks to his holy name.” Can you honestly and earnestly worship the Lord right now? What is preventing you from coming to the throne of grace with your praises and requests?
- David said in verse 6, “I said in my prosperity, I shall never be moved.” Can you relate to David’s confession that his temptation was to trust in his position and power rather than in God’s power to overcome the enemy? If so, why are you prone to trust in your own resources and abilities, and how does that usually work out?
- David said in verse 5, “Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.” Do you possess this joy? If so, why? If not, why not, and where can you go to find it?
- Take a few minutes to prayerfully read and reflect on Psalm 30 again, asking the Lord to reveal key verses that you can meditate on today and commit to memory, that will help you draw near to the Lord, who is the source of all joy.