Hope in the Midst of the Dark Night of the Soul

 “Sing praises to the Lord, O you his saints, and give thanks to his holy name.  For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime.  Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.”   Psalm 30:4-5

In this Psalm, David describes what may be called “a dark night of the soul.” He does not give the specifics of the circumstance but this Psalm recounts a period in David’s life when he harbored some sin in his heart and had experienced the chastening hand of God upon his life.  These two verses form the heart of this Psalm and offer us great hope in the midst of our trials in this life.  David reminds us here of God’s anger.  There are some who would like to do away with the notion of God’s anger all together, but the Bible teaches us that God’s anger is the expression of His Holy and Righteous character.  God would not be God if He were not angered and outraged over sin.  But notice carefully what the Psalmist says here about God’s anger— His anger is but for a moment.  In the gospel we discover that God’s anger has been appeased by the death of Christ on the cross.  That is why in Romans 3:25 Paul speaks of Jesus, “whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.  This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.”     On the cross Jesus fully met the demands of God’s righteousness on our part so that we can now experience God’s favor.  This does not mean that life will always be easy.  As believers we will experience the full range of human suffering and ills that come from living in a fallen world.  There will even be times when as the result of our sin we experience the temporary withdrawal of God’s manifest presence.  But we never have to be afraid or dismayed because this experience is never permanent.  “Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes in the morning.”  It may feel as if the dark night of the soul will never end.  Satan wants you to believe that what you are going through right now is permanent.  But the Gospel reminds us that we have hope.  JOY IS COMING!

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