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.
Psalms 30:1-5 NRSV
This is a song of great joy from David. He had gone through very tough dark times in his life, believing he was king but being chased by his enemies and coming close to death, now realizing God had taken him through those days and kept him safe, times were now good and joy had finally come. This was actually during the time of the dedication of his palace and realizing that the Lord had now established him as king over Israel.
I remember times growing up when I was going through a rough time and it felt as if things were never going to get better but they did and then waking up one day realizing the bad times had ended. I remember feeling this great joy that things were finally going to be ok. This happened especially after recovering from an illness. It seems like the longer the struggle lasts the more joy I would feel when it finally ended.
This psalm reminds us that the darkness doesn't last as long as the time of joy. What we are going through seems like it is going on and on but we will eventually get through this and when we do we will feel great joy. That's where I try to keep my focus during this particular time.
The good news is that we can have joy even during these times of darkness. Jesus knows what it's like to go though dark times and even now continues to go through them with us. He has been through more darkness than we will ever know. He came into this world to bring joy and knowing how things would turn out from the beginning, that his own would reject what He came to bring and end up putting Him on a cross, He was still willing to come into this world and go through that dark time in order that not only His own could have what He offered but all who would believe in Him could have it as well. This should cause all of us to extol Him which means to praise Him with great excitement.
Jesus, thank You for becoming Immanuel, “God with us.” It’s because of You that we can experience true joy. Right now these are strange days with much uncertainty and it can be a little tough to feel joyful, especially this time of the year. But we can know that you are with us now and it is your desire for us to have unending joy. We can and do celebrate that you came into this world to bring us that joy and we can know you are still with us today. So today, we choose to rejoice because you are with us. We will sing for joy because You are our strength and salvation. Because you came to this world 2,000 years ago, we are now able to experience the joy of Your presence forever. You are always worthy of all glory, honor, and praise. So no matter what we face, we will choose to worship You.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
by Ken Edgerly