September 11 will forever remain in the minds and memories of Americans. For our nation it will be remembered as a dark day that fundamentally changed our national life. Most of us as have experienced our own personal days of darkness – the death of someone we loved; a divorce; the loss of employment; sickness etc. Whenever we go through difficult times we hope for better days. We tell ourselves that there is light at the end of the tunnel. We pray for God’s help. But do we really believe that He hears us and that life will someday be different?
In Psalm 30, David, King of Israel, reflected upon one of those dark days in his life. Apparently he had an experience that brought him face to face with death. He referred to it in verse three when he said, O Lord, You brought my soul up from the grave; You have kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit. Again in verses eight and nine he wrote, I cried out to You, O Lord, and to the Lord I made supplication: What profit is there in my blood, when I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise You? David had come face to face with death and that experience caused him to reflect on life.
It is as a result of his reflection on life that he shares with us a great truth: His (God’s) anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. As Christians we need to remember that God often uses difficult days to refine us and purify our lives. But when we go through the darkness we know that it will only last for a short time. In comparison to the days of darkness, God’s favor is like a lifetime. We may suffer and weep for a night but the morning of joy will come. That is a truth that we can hold onto during the dark days. It is a truth that will sustain us in difficult times. Darkness may come but the morning of God’s favor brings light.
It was because David was so sure that God’s plan for him (and us) does not end with darkness that he could begin this Psalm with the declaration, I will extol You, O Lord (vs 1). And he can exhort us to, Sing praise to the Lord and give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name (vs 4). Even in dark days praise and thanksgiving to God is the right response of every child of God because we know that joy will come in the morning.
The conclusion of Psalm 30 says it all. You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, to the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever (vs 12).
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