Sorrow to Joy; November 30, 2021


Psalm 30:4-5 Sing to the Lord, you saints of his;
praise his holy name.
For his anger lasts only a moment,
but his favor lasts a lifetime;
weeping may remain for a night,
but rejoicing comes in the morning.

This is a justly famous passage, and the last part of it is certainly the most famous part of this Psalm, but I can’t read the last two verses of the Psalm without singing them, at least in my mind! Those verses are actually an amplification of this part, because they both talk about how God takes us from sad times to joyful ones. That transition is very much part of the human experience, and is referred to many times in the Bible. Even in the Upper Room Discourse Jesus told his disciples, “Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.” (John 16:22) Right after that He put a point on it and said, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) Sorrow is very much part of the human condition, but the good news is that it isn’t permanent, if we will put our trust in God. When bad times come the devil tries all he can to convince us that they are permanent, but he’s a liar as always. For those who have entrusted themselves to the grace of God in Christ, Paul’s words are spot on: “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” (2 Corinthians 4:17) Depression is real, and sometimes has chemical or other physical roots, but the answer is always, even then, to focus on God and entrust ourselves to Him.

Interestingly, it seems like the subject of depression has come up several times recently. I was reacting to various circumstances and feeling pretty stressed out (not unusual for me at this time of year) and God has had to remind me of some things He has had me say to others many times. God’s truth doesn’t do me much good if I always think it’s for the other guy! As I was saying to someone just yesterday, James 1:22 was written for me! We actually have a beautiful piece of framed needlework on our bedroom wall, quoting the last part of verse five, sent to us by a close friend of my wife. At the time we received it, I was in such a funk that I actually resented it! However, the devil’s lies are always exposed eventually, and it is God’s truth that His plans for us are good, to give us a hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11) Whatever comes my way, however devastating it might seem in the moment, I’ve got to remember God’s character, His grace and love, and rest, relax, and rejoice in Him.

Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for all You allow me to go through. Computer issues had me in a real turmoil yesterday morning, but the day still ended very well, and Your good plans for me are proceeding. Help me truly keep my focus on You, not being distracted by all the mess that gets thrown at me, so that the devil’s schemes may be defeated and Your rule and reign established, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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