Formations lesson for April 18- A Song of Joy
April 7 2010 by Ed Beddingfield, pastor, First Baptist Church, Fayetteville

Focal Passage:  Psalm 30; John 16:20-22

The superscription of Psalm 30, “at the dedication of the temple,” suggests public worship (see Learner’s Study Guide, p. 124). But originally this psalm was very personal.

The writer had suffered some form of physical distress. Maybe it involved a conflict with an enemy (“You did not let my foes rejoice over me,” v. 1), more likely an illness (“You have healed me,” v. 2), perhaps even a brush with death (“What profit is there in my death?” v. 9).

But his was no fair weather faith. This psalmist understood: “Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes in the morning” (v. 5), and God is the God of both.

It would have been easy to fall for what is called the “prosperity gospel:” that one of God’s main functions is to provide good health, personal happiness and material well-being to believers, and that we secure these blessings by having sufficient faith. In the psalmist’s own words, “As for me, I said in my prosperity, ‘I shall never be moved’” (v. 6).

It was not to be. Calamity struck. Did the psalmist deride himself for not having enough faith?

Was God to blame for not keeping His part of the bargain? Neither.

“You hid your face, I was dismayed” (v. 7); at the same time, “To you, O Lord, I cried, and to the Lord I made supplication” (v. 8). God may be closest to us when He seems farthest away.

“You have turned my mourning into dancing; you have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy” (v. 11). Suffering is real, life is hard and the world can be a dangerous place, but God has the last word (see John 16:20-22, part of Jesus’ farewell speech to the disciples after the Last Supper). 

“O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever” (v. 12). There is never a moment, in good times or bad, when it is not appropriate to praise God.

At 80, Miss Lula was almost completely blind. Her husband dragged one foot and his arm hung limp from a stroke. They lived alone in their little house. Now she was in the hospital with a broken hip.

The doctor asked, “Have you been hospitalized recently?” — a medical question, calling for a medical response. “Last year, with a detached retina,” she might have said. Instead she answered, “Not really.  The Lord’s been very good to me.”

She could have written the psalm.
4/7/2010 8:23:00 AM by Ed Beddingfield, pastor, First Baptist Church, Fayetteville | with 0 comments

Blog post currently doesn't have any comments.