READ PSALM 30
“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.” (Ps. 30:5)
David’s near-death experience in verses 1-3 was the result of his failure to praise God for his prosperity (Ps. 30:6). Instead of attributing his “glory” as king (Ps. 30:12) to the glory of God who had established his throne, David became careless, complacent, and convinced that he was immovable. Because David trusted in his own strength instead of the Lord (Ps. 30:6), as he did when he took the census (1 Chr. 21), God hid his face from David and David’s enemies began to triumph over him. But why did God do this? Was it merely a punishment?
God’s people are responsible for ensuring that God’s name is hallowed on the earth. If God’s people do not praise him or tell of his faithfulness, who will (Ps. 30:8-9)? God, who is zealous for his glory, allows ungrateful saints to endure his discipline, but always with the intention of delivering them. Delivered saints are thankful saints, which ensures that God is given the glory he deserves. The greater the trial, the greater the praise when deliverance comes, and the more glory God receives. Discipline is never enjoyable at the time (Heb. 12:11); David describes his experience as being in Sheol (Ps. 30:3) before God delivered him and revived his soul. But David’s response to deliverance was to “extol” (Ps. 30:1) God and to invite the saints to “sing praises” and “give thanks” (Ps. 30:4).
But is not God unjust in allowing us to weep for a night, only to preserve his own glory? David did not think so. Before his affliction, David had experienced prosperity—the very thing that we all think will lead to true happiness—but it made him smug and overconfident. Only in experiencing God’s saving hand during affliction did he enjoy “dancing” and “gladness” (Ps. 30:11). The pure delight of once afflicted but delivered saints is incomparable to the temporary happiness afforded by easy living in the world. Whether our deliverance comes now or in eternity, the result is inexpressible joy. “For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison” (2 Cor. 4:17, cf. John 16:20-22).
The pure delight of once afflicted but delivered saints is incomparable to the temporary happiness afforded by easy living in the world.
God receives the glory, we receive the joy. God’s zeal for his glory is not opposed to our happiness; rather, we are most happy when God’s name is hallowed—even if it means our temporary affliction. When we understand that joy comes through suffering, we will say with David, “It is good for me that I was afflicted” (Ps. 119:71).
Glory to the Father, who only gives good gifts to his children. Glory to the Son, who secures God’s favor forever. Glory to the Spirit, who uses God’s discipline for our holiness and happiness.