Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. Psalm 30:5
The sixteenth-century poet, St. John of the Cross, wrote a poem titled Dark Night of the Soul. While his poem was about the search for ultimate union with God, the title has come to be illustrative of those periods in which the joy and light of God is dim, if not hidden. Every Christian goes through occasional “dark nights” in their journey of faith.
Scripture does not hide the reality of dark periods in the faith life. Almost every major biblical character went through periods of doubt or suffering—but always to emerge into the light of God’s presence and joy (for example, Psalm 32). David seems to have this theme in mind in Psalm 30 when he says: “Weeping may endure for a night.” But he also knew that, just as morning follows night, “joy comes in the morning” (verse 5). David wrote, “You put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness” (verse 11).
Are you currently in a dark night of the soul—or do you know someone who is? Keep walking by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7), and look for the morning of joy to come.
Only to sit and think of God, oh what a joy it is! Frederick W. Faber
Psalm 30 • Joy comes with the Morning!
You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you . . . into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9
A news article in May 1970 contained one of the first uses of the idiom “on the bubble.” Referring to a state of uncertainty, the expression was used in relation to rookie race car driver Steve Krisiloff. He’d been “on the bubble,” having posted a slow qualifying lap for the Indianapolis 500. Later, it was confirmed that his time—though the slowest of those who qualified—allowed him to compete in the race.
We can feel at times that we’re “on the bubble,” uncertain we have what it takes to compete in or finish the race of life. When we’re feeling that way, it’s important to remember that in Jesus we’re never “on the bubble.” As children of God, our place in His kingdom is secure (John 14:3). Our confidence flows from Him who chose Jesus to be the “cornerstone” on which our lives are built, and He chose us to be “living stones” filled with the Spirit of God, capable of being the people God created us to be (1 Peter 2:5–6).
In Christ, our future is secure as we hope in and follow Him (v. 6). For “[we] are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that [we] may declare the praises of him who called [us] out of darkness into his wonderful light” (v. 9).
In Jesus’ eyes we’re not “on the bubble.” We’re precious and loved (v. 4).
Waiting on God stretches our trust in Him, especially when we are urgently longing for His intervention or guidance in a situation. From our earthly perspective and with our limited knowledge, it may seem as if He doesn’t care, but that is far from the truth.
God uses times of waiting to strengthen our trust in Him, and reminding ourselves of His character and abilities helps build confidence in our Father. So as you wait, remember:
• The Lord has all-encompassing knowledge of every detail of your circumstances.
• He has complete understanding of the motives and intentions of everyone involved in your situation.
• God’s power is greater than all your efforts to solve your problems. Neither you nor anyone else can thwart His plans.
• His eye is always on you during the wait, and He is your help and protection.
• His lovingkindness continually rests upon you.
Whenever you’re overcome with a sense of urgency or uncertainty, remember who God is and what He has promised to do for you. Although He may not work everything out as you desire, it will be according to His perfect wisdom and for your good—and in this you can rejoice.
“Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.” (Psalm 8:6-8)
The commission to rule over Earth was never withdrawn from humanity by the Creator. That dominion mandate implies authorization for the following human enterprises:
- Discovery of truth—science, research, exploration
- Application of truth—agriculture, engineering, medicine, technology, etc.
- Implementation of truth—commerce, transportation, government, etc.
- Interpretation of truth—fine arts, literature, theology
- Transmission of truth—education, communication, homemaking
When that authority was first delegated by the Creator, Earth was “very good” (Genesis 1:31). However, Adam’s failure in his first assignment created an ongoing conflict with humanity’s efforts on every front. Now, the “whole creation groaneth” (Romans 8:22) as the very ground from which all things are made conflicts with the environment (Genesis 3:18). Sin and death are the conditions of existence (Romans 5:12), and ignorance of God’s ideas, apart from God’s revelation, is rampant (1 Corinthians 2:14). Humanity’s drive is to serve ourselves, not God or others (Ephesians 2:1-3), and the ability to obey comes only through God’s new creation (Ephesians 4:17-24).
One day, all these wrongs will be righted with the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Until that day, our mandate remains as stewards over Earth. HMM III