A Psalm for Your Calm: Psalm 30

A Psalm for Your Calm: Psalm 30

Isn’t it interesting how the night passes by quickly when you’re sleeping? You lay your head down and, within what seems to be a few moments, you wake to a new day. In contrast to this, nothing seems longer than a single night when you can’t sleep. Whether it’s due to insomnia, anxiety, fear, or restlessness, the minutes pass by agonizingly slow as you wait for the morning light.

Metaphorically, we may go through dark nights as well; certain chapters of our life seem fraught with heartache and difficulty. When we lose a loved one for example, the heartache seems unbearable and the days after their passing seem to drag on. In times like this, it’s difficult to see a light at the end of the tunnel.

The Psalmist dealt with a similar situation but was delivered with God’s help. In Psalm 30 he writes:

“Sing praises to the Lord, O you his saints,
and give thanks to his holy name.
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.” (4-5)

The psalmist is realistic. He knows that there are weeping nights; nights when we deal with the “anger of God”. Yet he also realizes that these are temporary moments; passing heartache which eventually gives way to favor and joy, “In the morning.” This Psalm reminds us of the temporary nature of our suffering, due to the mercy of our God. As past generations would say during trails, “This too shall pass.”

Interestingly, suffering came for the Psalmist when he was most secure:

“As for me, I said in my prosperity,
‘I shall never be moved.’
By your favor, O Lord,
you made my mountain stand strong;
you hid your face;
I was dismayed.” (6-7)

Prosperity makes us feel invincible at times. While scripture never teaches money is evil, it does constantly warn about greed and the false security it offers. The writer fell into this sense of false assurance which set him up for great discouragement. Yet, on the other side of his failure, comes the sweet release of salvation from the Lord. The Lord gave him real security as he learned, not to trust in riches, but to “Lean on the everlasting arms.”

Maybe we fell into the false promise of financial certainty over the years. Without realizing it, we put more and more trust in the fleeting, passing pleasures of this life. We trusted more in our success and less in God’s salvation. Now the Lord has awakened us to who we really can depend on. This is the dawning joy of awareness that comes after the night of the terrible circumstance. Rejoice in God, for he is always faithful.