“For his anger lasts only a moment,
but his favor lasts a lifetime;
weeping may stay for the night,
but rejoicing comes in the morning.”
Psalm 30:5 (NIV)
“Therefore we do not lose heart.
Though outwardly we are wasting away,
yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us
an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.
So, we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen,
since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (NIV)
“By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger;
he persevered because he saw him who is invisible.”
Hebrews 11:27 (NIV)
One family I knew well growing up had a child who loved words. The best gift the parents could give their child was a dictionary of the English language. I also had several such dictionaries but did not read them as I read other books. So, while words are the tools of my work and I love to expand my vocabulary, I am not addicted to words as that young person was.
One word picture for a time of suffering is “The dark night of the soul”. This vivid figure of speech seems the perfect picture of the saint weeping in the night. All is dark, you cannot see the way forward, such is the place many of us come to at various times in life. We feel we are floundering as we seek to find a solution for our suffering, or we look for some way forward only to grope in vain and fall into a ditch. Some great saints in history have been in this sad state for years.
How can we cope in the darkness? What can we do to find a light switch to flip and turn on the lights? Our texts today give us good ways to “flip on” the lights in the dark nights of the soul. First, the Psalmist calls us to look at the Lord’s timetable to gain perspective regarding our suffering. Weeping may indeed be our portion now, but “in the morning” celebration will come. This is the promise of the Lord.
Paul suggests we make a comparison between our “light and momentary troubles” and our “eternal glory” which “far outweighs” the present trouble. Striving to do this will require a detailed study of heaven to help us understand the vast difference.
Paul also suggests we “fix our eyes…on what is not seen”. This sounds like an impossible task. We have our physical senses to help us navigate this world. There is a lot of information to process through sight, smell, touch, hear, etc. We only have sight of the invisible through the pages of Scripture. Hence the great need to be constantly, daily in God’s written Word studying and memorizing its descriptions of our eternal inheritance.
Seek to spend more time in your Bible today and when you close it see how much of your reading you can restate word for word and/or thought for thought. You will be blessed for your efforts. Morning is coming so get ready to greet it! Why not start today?