When Mourning Turns

“I will extol you, O Lord, for you have drawn me up
    and have not let my foes rejoice over me.
O Lord my God, I cried to you for help,
    and you have healed me.
O Lord, you have brought up my soul from Sheol;
    you restored me to life from among those who go down to the pit.

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…

You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
    you have loosed my sackcloth
    and clothed me with gladness,
 that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent.
    O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!” Psalm 30:1-5,11-12

Ah, the pit! The quagmire of foes physical, vocal, and mental. The valley of the shadow of illness, pain, loss, and death. Anger, weeping, and sorrow that shrouds everything. All of these we encounter, and suffer, and all are known to God. He who rides the ancient skies looks down on us below in love and compassion. With holy precision, His mercy extends like a magnet and draws us up, up to His heart, up to His throne, up to relief and peace and hope. (Deuteronomy 33:26; Psalm 23:4; 68:33; 103:6-14)

We cry for help, deliverance, and restoration, and the LORD hears and responds to our prayers. While present troubles may not disappear, in the midst He indeed turns our mourning to dancing as we set our hope in Christ. He extends victory and healing in this present darkness, and cloaks us with assurance of our eternal future. He comforts, His very presence our soul strength to endure. (Ephesians 6:12)

And this is not just for ourselves. No good from God ever is. When the Lord graciously turns our mourning, how can we do the same for others in His name? How will we pass along the comfort we have received for just that purpose? (2 Corinthians 1:3-7)

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
    because the Lord has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor;
    he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
    and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,
    and the day of vengeance of our God;
    to comfort all who mourn;
to grant to those who mourn in Zion—
    to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
    the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;
that they may be called oaks of righteousness,
    the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.” Isaiah 61:1-3

How will we take the Spirit’s ministry to us and spread it abroad? When God truly turns us, we are healed from self-absorption and cannot help but reach out to the faint, weak, and broken-hearted with His gospel of freedom and gladness. Where will we go, with whom will we share this day what Jesus has done for us?

Father, may I ever extol You for Your healing, favor, and strength. And may I never hoard Your mercies and kindness, but generously share them to the magnification of Your grace and love.

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