“For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5, NKJV). Speaking of God’s discipline, the psalmist reminds us that the sorrows we face in this life are temporary. As painful as a season may be, it is only a season. Life has twists, turns, ups, and downs, and, although we may suffer through dark nights, morning will come. Verses 11 and 12 shed more light on this idea: “You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. Lord my God, I will praise you forever.”
We are to sing to God and worship and praise Him (Psalm 30:4; 63:4; 104:33; 146:2). When we are silent and our hearts turn away from worship, we are not living up to our full potential. This sin-riddled world gives us many reasons to despair (John 16:33). Our own sin often brings God’s discipline (Hebrews 12:7–8; Revelation 3:19). Heartaches, disappointments, and betrayals can leave us feeling shattered, and we may wonder if hope will never come again. So God reminds us that joy comes in the morning. Dark nights can last a long time, but they are never permanent for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Instead of hopelessness, we have His promise that He will make all things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). Only God can take the very bad and transform it into something very good. Even when walking through “the valley of the shadow of death,” we need fear no evil (Psalm 23:4). Our Good Shepherd never abandons us, and our suffering is always purposeful (Psalm 56:8). The Lord can take the broken places in our lives and create a mosaic that blesses the world. It is often our darkest pain that becomes our brightest light when we entrust it to Him. Joy comes in the morning when we awaken to our purpose and see that even our mistakes, sorrows, and confusion have become the foundation upon which God builds a ministry.
David understood that. He was anointed king as a teenager (1 Samuel 16:13) but spent many years on the run from the reigning King Saul. But those years were not wasted. Hard as they were, it was during those years that David penned many of the psalms that now comfort millions. The apostle Paul heard the prison doors slam behind him, and for two long years, he sat in a jail cell for preaching the gospel. Those years may have seemed wasted, yet it was during his imprisonment that he wrote at least four books of the New Testament.
God allows pain and struggle into our lives to refine us like gold (1 Peter 1:6–7). Jesus was God in the flesh, yet He suffered terribly while on earth so that we would know He understands our pain (Hebrews 4:15; 5:7–8). As bad as it was in the moment, “For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2). We are told to “consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart” (verse 3). So Jesus models for us what it means that joy comes in the morning.