Main point summary
Worship the Lord with me because He loves us too much to allow us to drift away from Him in our seasons of prosperity! He will bring the grace of suffering into our lives to draw us back to Himself and to cause us to call on Him again. But He will not allow that suffering to last a second longer than what is needed to do His work in us! He will answer our cries and will one day, sooner or later, wipe away every tear and turn our mourning into eternal dancing and our trials into eternal gladness!
I will a extol You, O Lord ,
I will worship you God,
for You have b lifted me up,
because you have rescued me,
And have not let my c enemies rejoice over me.
and you have preserved my dignity and my life.
O Lord my God, I a cried to You for help,
O YHWY, I called out to you for help,
and You b healed me.
and you answered me!
O Lord , You have a brought up my soul from 1 Sheol;
God, it is as if you have brought my life up from the grave;
You have kept me alive,
in that you have saved my life from my enemies,
2 that I would not b go down to the pit.
so that I would not die.
a Sing praise to the Lord , you b His godly ones,
Sing to the Lord and worship Him, you elect of God,
And c give thanks to His holy 1 d name.
and give thanks to Him in all that He is toward us and in all that He is in His character and nature!
For a His anger is but for a moment,
Because, even though He disciplines us severely at times for a season,
His b favor is for a lifetime;
His favor and spiritual prosperity will last for eternity;
Weeping may c last for the night,
We may weep in our God ordained suffering for a little while,
But a shout of joy comes in the morning.
But after the suffering has done its sanctifying work, we will shout for joy in what God did for us and in us through His loving, Fatherly discipline.
Now as for me, I said in my prosperity, “I will a never be moved.”
Let me be more specific. I had become complacent and arrogant and distracted when all was going well for me and I arrogantly spoke that "I would NEVER be shaken or fall"
O Lord , by Your favor
I said, "O Lord, by means of your blessing
You have made my mountain to stand strong;
you have made me immovable and strong against all danger."
You a hid Your face,
Then, surprisingly you hid your face and brought suffering into my life through my enemies. I could not see your face!
I was dismayed.
I was confused and sad and broken.
To You, O Lord , I called,
Then, I called on your name,
And to the Lord I made supplication:
and I cried out my prayers to you saying:
“What profit is there in my blood,
What benefit to you is my death,
if I a go down to the pit?
if you allow me to die?
Will the b dust praise You?
Because I cannot praise you with my singing and with my voice if I'm dead!
Will it declare Your faithfulness?
I cannot proclaim to the nations and to Israel your faithfulness if I'm dead!
“ a Hear, O Lord ,
Therefore, please hear my cry,
and be gracious to me;
and show grace to me;
O Lord , be my b helper.”
Oh God, please help me!
You have turned for me a my mourning into dancing;
Then, YOU ANSWERED MY PRAYER! You removed my suffering at the right time and replaced it with peace and joy;
You have b loosed my sackcloth
You removed my mourning clothes
and girded me with c gladness,
and replaced them with with the robes of gladness,
That my 1 a soul may sing praise to You
So that I would glorify your name by your power toward me and my praise to you,
and not be silent.
and not be silent in the grave.
O Lord my God, I will b give thanks to You forever.
Therefor, I will thank you forever! I will proclaim my gratitude for eternity!
I will worship you Lord because you have rescued me and saved my life!
Worship God because, though He may discipline us for a season for our good, His love and favor are eternal.
I was overconfident and in danger of taking my eyes off of God.
Then, surprisingly, but in your mercy you disciplined me by bringing suffering into my life and seemingly hiding your face from me.
Then, I came to my senses and I called on your name for help!
Then, you heard me and answered my prayers! You replaced my sorrow with peach and joy so that my heart's attention and affection would be back where it belongs! ON YOU GOD!
When have you felt most near to the Lord? Has it been in times of ease and prosperity or in suffering to one degree or another? When have you felt the presence of the Lord the most? When have you been most fervent in prayer? When have your thoughts been most on eternity? If you are a child of God, and you're honest with yourself, the answer to these questions is most likely, that nearness to the Lord and fervency in seeking Him was most evident in times of trial and suffering. That fervency tends to last well beyond when the trial is over. On the other hand, when have you drifted from the Lord? When have you noticed your thoughts far from the Kingdom of God? When have you been most distracted from prayer and the word? Is it not during seasons of prosperity? Is it not when we've been busy with career or family or other good things that so easily absorb our time and energy and thought? I want to take us to a passage of scripture where this principle is highlighted and where we see the "severe mercy" of God to draw us back to Him. Please turn with me to Psalm 30. But, if you'll allow me I want to read the Psalm out of order so that we can see the chronology. 6 Now as for me, I said in my prosperity , “I will never be moved.” 7a O LORD, by Your favor You have made my mountain to stand strong ; David's life was going great! His health was likely good. His family relationships were likely healthy. He was surrounded by friends. His leadership was going as planned. The wealth was building. And this terrible phenomenon happens to him that is exactly what happens to us...he began to presume and assume that this was the way things "ought" to be. This is the way things always will be! "I will never be moved". He even attributes his success and perceived blessing as from the Lord. But, this is a dangerous place to be! We begin to drift! We lose urgency and fervency. We begin to show less gratitude to God. We become more vulnerable to pride. We may stop seeking the Lord diligently. Our interests and desires begin to move toward the creature rather than the creator. Our joy and affections subtly, and Oh so dangerously, migrates from God to His gifts. So what is God going to do? Is He going to let the good times roll until David has lost his ability to see true treasure? Is He going to let David row his boat off Niagara Falls? 7b You hid Your face, I was dismayed. Praise God, the answer to that question is NO!!! God, in His love and concern and sovereign grace over David intervenes by bringing the mercy of.... suffering. He removes his hand of blessing! He brings trials into David's life. We don't know exactly, but it appears from verse 1 that God allowed David's enemies to have a season of victory or allowed David to be hurt and harassed by them. David is blown away! He was so confident. He was so assured that he would never be moved and now, he's possibly going to be murdered by his enemies. What is God doing? But, Oh the designs of God in suffering. There is NO meaningless suffering for a child of God. God is performing heart surgery on David. 8 To You, O LORD, I called , And to the Lord I made supplication: 9 “What profit is there in my blood, if I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise You? Will it declare Your faithfulness? 10 “Hear, O LORD, and be gracious to me; O LORD, be my helper. ” God awakens David from his lethargy and prosperity fog and David comes to his senses! He realizes his frailty and utter dependence on God again. He devotes himself to prayer. He is humbled in the dust before God. He cries out to God for mercy and help! This is where we are supposed to live day by day! In plenty and in want, we are supposed to cry out to God for our daily bread! (Phil 4:13) We call on God for our daily Manna in the wilderness that will rot if we try to make it last two days. We open our mouths and hands to God in dependence on Him every day, and He is HONORED by providing for us EVERY DAY! The severe mercy of God brought David back to this place where his joys and affections were re-oriented back to God! Without the trails, without the suffering, David's soul was in danger! Go back to the beginning of the Psalm where David can't help himself but to praise God for his deliverance before he's even let us know the details of his situation. 1 I will extol You, O LORD, for You have lifted me up , And have not let my enemies rejoice over me . 2 O LORD my God, I cried to You for help, and You healed me . 3 O LORD, You have brought up my soul from Sheol ; You have kept me alive , that I would not go down to the pit. 4 Sing praise to the LORD, you His godly ones, And give thanks to His holy name. 5 For His anger is but for a moment , His favor is for a lifetime ; Weeping may last for the night, But a shout of joy comes in the morning. 11 You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness, 12 That my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks to You forever. In chronological order, this is God in His mercy relieving the burden and taking away the trial. David has come from arrogance and independence, to suffering, then to pleading to God for help, and NOW we see the deliverance and the answered prayer! God protected David from his enemies and preserved his life. That is the answered prayer that the physical eyes can see, but we do not only look to what is seen, but to what is unseen! There's an even deeper answered prayer than David's physical deliverance. Look at verse 5. What we see is that David knows that the trial was brought by God . He doesn't try to give God a nice-guy pass and say that God wasn't the source of the suffering. David says "His anger"; God's anger is but for a moment. David knows this is Fatherly discipline for his good! It was purposeful and surgical to guard and preserve David's soul! God in His mercy ordained this trial and when the heart was repaired, when the tumor was removed, when bones were fused back together, God ended the surgery! The trial did not last a second longer than was absolutely necessary to do the heart work God designed for him. Oh that we would hear this for us and trust what James says in his letter: "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials; knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result so that you may be PERFECT and COMPLETE, LACKING IN NOTHING! When God brings a trial into His child's life, it is to fill up something that is lacking! David comes away from the Lord's severe mercy repaired and restored in His SOUL, not just in his body! He comes away stronger and with more joy than before, even in his prosperity! What can we take away from this passage? How can we learn from David life? Let us guard ourselves DILIGENTLY in seasons of ease and prosperity! Let us remind ourselves daily, even hourly of our need for God. Let us live in prosperity or in trials THROUGH CHRIST who strengthens us. When trials come, follow David's example. RUN to our Father! Cry out to Him! Call on who He is! Call on Him who did not spare His own beloved Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not with Him freely give us all things! When trials come, know that they are perfectly measured with surgical precision. Our loving Father has many many purposes in the trials that we may never know, but we know for sure that they all are for our good and for our hope as He brings us through them in faith! The trials are prescribed by the infinitely wise surgeon to get us to the Kingdom. During the trial, we have to remember that they are light and momentary and that they are preparing for us an eternal weight of glory, far beyond all comparison while we look not at the things that are seen, but at the things that are not seen! When God brings relief and restoration, be that sooner or later, we are to rejoice! We are to proclaim His praise to all who will listen. To summarize this passage in closing: Worship the Lord with me because He loves us too much to allow us to drift away from Him in our seasons of prosperity! He will bring the grace of suffering into our lives to draw us back to Himself and to cause us to call on Him again. But He will not allow that suffering to last a second longer than what is needed to do His work in us! He will answer our cries and will one day, sooner or later, wipe away every tear and turn our mourning into eternal dancing and our trials into eternal gladness!