Lessons from Psalm 30

It’s easy to be happy and positive when things are going well. When we feel healthy and settled and the proverbial sun is shining. It’s easy to worship God when our prayers are answered or even, on those very rare occasions when there doesn’t seem so much to pray about because all is well in life.

But when the clouds gather, when life hurts, when people we love are struggling, well it’s not so easy. It’s harder to praise God from a place of loneliness or loss, fear or failure. When our prayers appear to be unanswered or we feel like we’re talking to a brick wall rather than the King of Kings. Then it’s harder to feel the joy and certainty of faith. The NIV (UK) version of Psalm 30 puts it this way:

6When I felt secure, I said, ‘I shall never be shaken.’
Lord, when you favoured me, you made my royal mountain stand firm; but when you hid your face, I was dismayed.

Psalm 30 NiV UK

But look again, the psalm starts with words of faith and praise, (Psalm 30:1-3) ‘I will exalt you’… ‘I called out to you and healed me’. This is a song of faith, a choice to praise God because God has proved faithful. The psalmist is remembering the times when God’s love and presence was tangible

‘ You brought me from the depths…from the grave…and the pit’…’

You brought me up…’ rather like a bucket being drawn up from the deepest well; a dark well that is as deep as death itself. This imagery reminds us that God reaches down into the deepest, darkest places to bring us up and out. And until we are standing on the mountaintop again – well, he’s with us every step of the way.

This psalm starts with the cry of faith and a reminder of God’s constant faithfulness before having a wobble! But the wobble in the middle challenges us to remember how it’s the faithfulness of God that is our security not what circumstances we are in. When we are in trouble, in mourning, in distress – in the middle of a wobble, it is God’s faithfulness that will bring us somehow, someday, to the place where we can dance again.

I wanted to share these thoughts with you; I certainly needed to remind myself this week of the truth in God’s word. Perhaps you too are finding this 3rd lockdown especially challenging… My prayer is that the truth of God’s word can encourage you as it does me, especially if you’re having a mid-covid, mid-winter, mid-lockdown, wobble… we are not left alone and God is just as real and present! Amen to that!

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