Friday, August 9, 2013

Joy Comes in the Morning

For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.  –Psalm 30:5 (KJV)

Have you ever had a night where you could not sleep?  You tossed, turned, tried sleeping in different positions, tried counting sheep, yet all your strategies failed?  Instead of sleep, you became even more agitated.  I have experienced many nights like this.  Rather than lie there unable to sleep, I usually get up and read, watch TV (good luck finding anything worth watching at 3:00 AM), or sit on the porch and listen to the night sounds.  My dogs, Ada and Leon, love it when this happens, as they are always eager for a little nighttime excursion outside, even in the middle of the night.  However, I am usually less enthusiastic as I simply want to get some sleep.

During nights such as this, we desire one of two conclusions; we hope for sleep or for the morning to come.  We know one of these two scenarios has to happen.  Waiting for it is another matter.  The Bible speaks of God’s anger enduring for a moment, but His favor is life – He sustains us through the dark times.  Consider a night where we cannot sleep as a call from God to arise and settle a matter with Him.  Perhaps there is sin that needs confessed or an attitude that needs adjusted.  These days when sleep eludes me, I often see this as a call from God inviting me to seek Him in prayer and meditation.  Once our hearts are right with God through confession and repentance, we are then able to rest in the peace the Lord provides.

Rest assured the Lord does not hold grudges.  Anytime we find we are out of God’s will, we may return to Him and find grace, mercy, and compassion.  The Lord stands ready to forgive, for as the Bible says, His anger lasts only a short while.  The weeping and sorrow we endure may feel like a night of endless insomnia, yet there is joy waiting with the cleansing power of forgiveness through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Just as we are certain the sun will rise in the morning, so we are confident the Son of God has risen and overcome anything standing in the way of true life in Him.  Claim the power in Jesus Christ and experience the joy He offers. 

Last Sunday I reminded the congregation that prayer involves two-way communication between God and us.  Make sure we are not the ones doing all the talking.  Be willing to be still before God and listen for the still small voice of His Spirit gently convicting our hearts and reassuring us of His presence.  When we are walking with Christ in daily prayer, we may have nights where we are wakened at 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning and cannot go back to sleep.  Could God be calling you to an early and extended prayer time?  I believe this is possible.  Do not fear such a blessed encounter with God, but embrace it willingly. 

Okay, it is time I headed to bed.  Who knows, the Lord may wake me in a few hours to commune with Him.  Let it be so, dear Lord.

God bless you today.