Day follows night

Ps 30:5

“For His anger is but for a moment, but His favour is for a lifetime or His favour is life. Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.”

Weeping is one of the most common ways of expressing anguish and grief. My focus is on the second part of the verse. I would like to start out with a true story:

George Matheson was a man in the nineteenth century. He was in the prime of his life at the age of eighteen, when unexpectantly, he suffered blindness. His fiancée broke up when she heard of this. George was shattered both due to his literal physical and emotional darkness. He penned out the words of this beautiful hymn in his heartache;

“O love that will not let me go, I rest my weary soul in Thee, I give Thee back the life I owe, That in thine ocean depth its flow May riches, fuller be.

O light that followest all my way, I yield my flickering torch to Thee, My heart restored its borrowed ray, That in thy sunshine’s blaze its day, May brighter, fairer be.

O joy that sleekest me through pain, I cannot close my heart to Thee; I climb the rainbow through the rain, And feel the promise is not vain, That morn shall tearless be.

O Cross that liftest up my head, I dare not ask to fly from Thee; I lay in dust life’s glory dead, And from the ground there blossoms red Life that shall endless be”.

This Hymn went on to comfort many, especially those going through dark times.

The Bible speaks profoundly about suffering. It gives us so many real life people who have been kept by the Lords leading and guidance. Joseph’s life illustrates this. He was the favoured son in Jacob’s household sold into slavery by his jealous brothers. He was bought by Potiphar, the Pharoah’s captain of guard. Joseph greatly prospered (Gen39:2) for the Lord was with him (Gen 39:3). He was put incharge of Potiphar’s entire business and affairs.

In our lives too, it is relatively easy to praise God when everything is prospering and going well. For we know that every good and perfect gift comes from above (Js 1:17). But then everything changes quickly, and Joseph gets thrown into the kings prison for a false allegation of rape. However here too, we read that the Lord was with Joseph and prospered Joseph in all matters there (Gen 39:20-21, 23). The Lord did not leave Joseph. Likewise He is with us in good and bad times. No man is promised a cosy life being a believer. But one thing to count on is the Lord’s presence.

It is natural to think that when things go wrong, God has forsaken us and that it could be God’s punishment and displeasure that has brought about the situation. This is what Job’s friends thought when they saw the extent of Job’s suffering. However our suffering could a direct result of God’s correction (Heb 12). He could like any good parent, have to use correction measures because He loves us and wants us to change.

In the letter of Peter we come across the idea of refiner’s fire. At very high temperatures gold starts separating from the dross. The high temperature is a requirement to purify the gold. Even so, the Lord has a purpose and plan in using every suffering for our ultimate good.

The Lord himself was no stranger to anguish and darkness. 2000 years ago, our Lord Jesus himself came across a dark night in Gethsemane. He knew what would happen ahead, infact He had come for the very purpose of dying on the cross. But in his humanness, he saw what was ahead. It wasn’t the physical torture that would have troubled Him, but the separation from His Father. No man had been where he was. No one has experienced true abandonment and absolute forsakenness as He would experience. Even those who do not believe God, would never come across the full extent of this separation in this world, as the Bible speaks of the sun shining on the good and evil and rain falling on the just and unjust ( Matt 5:45). The Lord Jesus was strengthened as a result of His prayer.

In the same way, we could approach our Father and pour out our wailings and lamentations before Him. Most of the Psalms, Habakkuk and even a book named lamentations are prayers of children to their Father in heaven. We have a God who is willing to hear and answer us. The Lord Jesus being strengthened in prayer went on to face what you and I deserved, separation from the Living God, yet as He was God, He destroyed the very jaws of death, tore it open and arose from the dead. He had been our representative on the cross and in His victory everyone who believes in His death/resurrection is truly free from the curse/ordinances/verdict of the law and we are truly victorious over sin and death in Him.

Joseph also went on to be prepared and ready to become the prime minister of Egypt. And so was Job restored double of everything he has lost.

God may not answer us according to what we expect Him to, but He would always work all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Rom 8:28).

Truly, there is a morning after even the darkest night!