This is such a beautiful Scripture. We are reminded that God makes all things new. He doesn’t leave us in the valleys but He pulls us through. Weeping may last for a time, but joy is around the corner. But when I first read this passage today, the first thing that popped in my mind is why does it have to last? Why does sadness and heartache linger? Why can’t the Lord heal us completely from the moment we call out to Him?
5 For his anger lasts only a moment,
but his favor lasts a lifetime;
weeping may stay for the night,
but rejoicing comes in the morning. -Psalms 30:5 (NIV)
Have you ever wondered about this yourself? When we struggle with depression, we want the Lord to help us in the moment to feel joy and happiness. Sometimes, people expect us to simply snap out of it because we are Christians, but it’s rarely that easy. In fact, I would dare say that it is never that easy-ever! Why does the Lord let the pain linger? We know He could heal us instantaneously. He is all-powerful, nevertheless, He allows the weeping to last through the night.
God’s purpose for you and for me and for all of mankind is that we spend eternity with Him. But how can we choose a God we can’t see? This is why the idols of today are so prevalent. They have substance. They can be touched or felt. I can drive a new car. I feel the euphoria produced by a drug in my system. The adrenaline from performing under pressure at work can be exhilarating to some people. But when God says that we need to come to Him, He is not always easy to find. God is spiritual which is why He looks for spiritual people through which He can reveal Himself. But then we have to ask who is He? Who is this God that we call upon?
He is not like Santa Claus that we wait for a one-time dispensation of grace and blessing, but never talk about the rest of the year. He is not a genie granting any three wishes we may have. He is not the dictator forcing us to do what is best for Him. He is not the merciless judge who seems to enjoy sentencing the guilty to their doom. He is none of these. He has tried to help us understand by referring to Himself as the Father, but is He like your Father? Maybe He is, but maybe your father was anything but loving and wise. He refers to Himself as the benevolent King of Kings, but I know that I have never experienced being in the presence of a king who uses all of his resources for the benefit of his subjects. He says that He is the groom and we are the bride, but even still, depending upon what our spouse is like, this may not be a good picture. To be with the Lord, we must know Him. How does He make Himself known?
The Lord loved Adam enough to give him Eve. He did not mind sharing His creation. He said it is not good for man to be alone. From the beginning, God’s concern has been what is good for His creation. God is incapable of being selfish. God loved Adam and desired a relationship with Adam. This required Adam to make a choice. People have asked why God let Satan into the Garden of Eden, but He had to give Adam an opportunity to make a choice. Adam did not choose well, but God never left Adam, kept blessing him. He is the friend that sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24). He is faithful even in the hard times. He never leaves. He always loves. The best place for us to see Him in the fullness of His love is in our suffering. As we suffer, we find who are our true friends. We see who sticks with us. When we really mess up things, the people who keep loving us and stay are the real friends. These are those who truly love us.
The suffering of this life does two things that allow us to see God. It gives us an opportunity to enter into a relationship with God. The only way we can know that we love Him for Him is when we don’t have anything else. Our faithfulness to Him when blessings have been scattered allows us to see if we have chosen Him for who He is or if we only wanted Him like a genie in the bottle. Suffering also allows me to see Him stick. He never leaves my side. When all else have turned away and betrayed, when the efforts of even my dearest friends cannot console me, He will. It is in the weeping that the true nature of God is revealed to me and through me.
As we testify through the dark night of tears that God has not left us, that we still believe, that we still hold on to Him and He is holding on to us, we reveal the true nature of our God. His faithfulness and love for us draw the lines and fills in the hue of His being for others to see. And the better we endure the suffering in His presence with a testimony of His love for us despite physical blessings, the more He will appear so that others can see. And then comes the morning.
He is the God who does not abandon or neglect. He is the God who sees us through the night, through the abuse, through the pain, through sickness, through it all. Morning does come and with it, a joy glorifying His power and ability to deliver us from the dark nights of our life that we may come into the glory of His morning.
Why does the weeping last? It is to that His nature may be made clear in our mind and those who see our suffering. In the weeping, we reveal His love, His passion, His power, His character. At the break of light, our joy brings glory to the God revealed in the dark. As we exalt His name, all men will be drawn to Him forever and ever.
1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit. -Romans 5:1-5 (NIV)