June 29, 2018 Mourning, Dancing, and the Joy of the Lord- Psalm 30, Philippians 4:11

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I will extol you, O Lord, for you have drawn me up and have not let my foes rejoice over me. O Lord my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me. O Lord, you have brought up my soul from Sheol; you restored me to life from among those who go down to the pit.

Sing praises to the Lord, O you his saints, and give thanks to his holy name. For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.

As for me, I said in my prosperity, “I shall never be moved.”  By your favor, O Lord, you made my mountain stand strong; you hid your face; I was dismayed.

To you, O Lord, I cry, and to the Lord I plead for mercy. “What profit is there in my death, if I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise you? Will it tell of your faithfulness?  Hear, O Lord, and be merciful to me! O Lord, be my helper!”

You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever! Psalm 30 (ESV)

Sometimes we fail to understand our thorough dependence on God when things are going well for us. We tend to be a bit too self-reliant when things are going well. The distractions of daily life and our own pursuits can cause us to forget that we were made and named and claimed by God to be Christ-reliant.

The apostle Paul wrote to the believers at Phillipi: “For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, hardships, persecutions and calamities. For when I am weak, I am strong.” Philippians 4:11 (ESV)

It can also be true that hardship can cause us to question our faith and cause us to doubt God’s love and care for us. Even so, mourning and trials are times in which God draws close to us, in which we realize how desperate we are and how much we need Him.  When we come to that point of “it’s Christ or nothing,” all we have left is to fall upon the tender mercy of Jesus so He can put us back together again.  Jesus brings us back from the darkness of mourning and the despair of trials and comforts us with His peace and gives us joy that is not dependent upon our circumstances or material standing.

David (the writer of this Psalm) understood that God walks with us through times of mourning. God alone heals and restores us even as we know that we will not have complete or total healing in this lifetime.  For now we have to walk by faith in the promises of God. We will be made new and whole. We can rely on Jesus and know He cares for us until that day when the world is remade.

There is a morning coming soon when mourning will be gone forever.  Until then, even through our tears, we can sing.  We can dance.  We can trust that we have the joy of the Lord.

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