I will exalt you, Lord, for you lifted me out of the depths
and did not let my enemies gloat over me.
2 Lord my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me.
3 You, Lord, brought me up from the realm of the dead;
you spared me from going down to the pit.
4 Sing the praises of the Lord, you his faithful people;
praise his holy name.
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.
6 When I felt secure, I said, “I will never be shaken.”
7 Lord, when you favored me, you made my royal mountain[c] stand firm;
but when you hid your face, I was dismayed.
8 To you, Lord, I called; to the Lord I cried for mercy:
9 “What is gained if I am silenced, if I go down to the pit?
Will the dust praise you? Will it proclaim your faithfulness?
10 Hear, Lord, and be merciful to me; Lord, be my help.”
11 You turned my wailing into dancing;
you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
12 that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent.
Lord my God, I will praise you forever.
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome[a] it.
In Psalm 30 we read that there may be weeping in the darkness, but when the light of the morning comes there will be joy. This time of the year darkness comes early and nights are forever long. Morning joy seems to be far away. Tonight we gather to get through the darkness and to find the light.
In this Psalm we hear the author tell of being in the depths and crying out to the Lord for help. The Lord hears his plea and he was restored to health and safety. The author writes that once he is saved, he sings praises to the Lord and gives thanks. The author gives the Lord the glory for all that was done but then suddenly there is a change in the tone of the Psalm.
The author writes, “As for me, I said in my prosperity, “I shall never be moved.”
There is a sudden move from the Lord being the mighty to one to the author seemingly beginning to rely on their own power. The response is to say, “you hid your face; I was dismayed.”
The question I ask at this point is ..did God move? Did the Lord go anywhere? Does the Lord really hide from us?
No, the Lord never leaves us but sometimes, like the author, when everything is going well we begin to think we are self-reliant and we ignore or simply forget our need for God.
Then something happens…
a family member passes away,
we face our own health issue,
a job is lost, family ties are broken,
a marriage is tested…….and we are dismayed.
We blame God for turning away from us and leaving us to face it alone. We hit rock bottom and, like the Psalmist, we cry out to the Lord again – “Hear, O Lord, and be gracious to me! O Lord, be my helper!”
Suddenly we find the Lord is there and has pulled us up from the pit and our mourning is turned to dancing. We once again lift praises and give thanks to the Lord our God.
Life is like this. It is a rollercoaster of events
some good, some bad,
some we are thrilled to experience
and others leave us struggling to catch our breath.
We need to remember as the Psalmist realizes, God is there through it all.
Darkness lasts only for the night and morning brings the light.
God will turn our mourning into dancing.
In the Gospel of John chapter 1 we are reminded of just how assured we can be in the Lord:
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. [He has been right here with us forever] 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, [our life is from him] and that life was the light of all mankind.[His life gives us life and guides us along the way] 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
Nothing – ABSOLUTELY NOTHING can make our life completely dark. Jesus is the Light of the world and that Light will always and forever break through the darkness of any situation.
The Light of the Lord, Jesus Christ, is always there for us to find hope and comfort when the darkness tries to overcome us.
Tonight we remember or may presently be facing the darkest moments of our lives, we recognize that even in the midst of the darkness, Jesus is there to light our way through.
And He will always be there…He never leaves us.
It is up to us…He stands at the door and knocks..and knocks patiently waiting for us to answer. All we need to do is open the door and He is there to give us help. Jesus wants to be our hope and comfort in every trial.
This season of Christmas is a time for us to give the baby born in the manger – our Savior – the greatest gift of all….Let us give Him our sorrows, our struggles, our grief…Let us give Him our hearts so we might feel the healing He can give.