View print-optimized version

Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Today’s Scripture Reading | Psalm 30

I will extol you, O Lord, for you have drawn me up,
   and did 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 brought up my soul from Sheol,
   restored me to life from among those gone down to the Pit.

Sing praises to the Lord, O you his faithful ones,
   and give thanks to his holy name.
For his anger is but for a moment;
   his favor is for a lifetime.
Weeping may linger 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 had established me as a strong mountain;
you hid your face;
   I was dismayed.

To you, O Lord, I cried,
   and to the Lord I made supplication:
“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 gracious to me!
   O Lord, be my helper!”

You have turned my mourning into dancing;
   you have taken off my sackcloth
   and clothed me with joy,
so that my soul may praise you and not be silent.
   O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever.  (NRSV)

I played bass guitar in the youth worship band at the church that I grew up in, and there are many lines from this Psalm that take me back to that time, though one especially stands out: “Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning.” In one of the worship songs I performed often, that verse was interpreted “though the sorrow may last for the night, his joy comes with the morning,” and that line was the crescendo just before the chorus, with great emphasis being placed on the joy coming in the morning.

When we’re in the midst of the night, it’s easy to forget about God’s providence. It’s easy to overlook the miracles that we’ve seen and the times God has brought us through difficult circumstances.

I would like to think that the author of this Psalm hadn’t just come through some terrible circumstance and was praising God after it was over. I tend to think we humans are pretty bad at that. Instead, I like to think the author was in the midst of the struggles of life and was claiming and affirming what they had been through before, knowing that the providence of God would be upon them again and that God would, once again, guide them through the night to see the morning.

Lord, thank you for your providence and protection. While I don’t know your plans, I know that you are my protector and provider. Help me to hold firm to this promise no matter what I’m going through. Amen.

Written by Jared Light, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church

Devotion index by date | Id like to receive daily devotions by email