Favor for a Lifetime

Psalm 30 is a song David composed for the dedication of the temple. An offering of praise to Him who had determined to dwell in the midst of His people. A psalm of reflection . . . recalling a time when David was so ill, that he thought he might die . . . remembering a time when he, because of his prosperity, he had become so arrogant and self-sufficient, that He sensed that God had hid His face from him . . . recounting how, in both circumstances, he cried to the LORD and the LORD mercifully responded. There may have been weeping for a night, but joy comes with the morning (v.5) . . . his mourning had been turned into dancing (v.11) . . . his sackcloth removed and replaced with clothes of gladness (v.11) . . .

For His anger is but for a moment, and His favor is for a lifetime . . .    (Psalm 30:5a ESV)

What David understood as the LORD’s anger, the child of God knows to be His loving Father’s discipline (Hebrews 12:5-11). Whether an extended time of sickness due to the weakness of our flesh . . . or a protracted time of anguish of the soul due to the weakness of our spirit . . . whether disease or sin . . . God will use these but “momentary afflictions” for the perfecting of the work He has begun in us. For His favor is for a lifetime.

So often it is in our weakness, and through our suffering, that our absolute dependence on Him is rekindled. Our prayer life becomes as vital as it’s ever been . . . our earnestness is taken to the next level . . . our hunger and thirst for the face of God as acute as we’ve ever known it.

Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will hear you. You will seek Me and find Me. When you seek Me with all your heart, I will be found by you, declares the LORD . . .    (Jeremiah 29:12-14a ESV)

And it is in that condition, when all desire is but desire for Him, that He reminds us of His desire for us. It is then that joy starts to supplant weeping . . . that, though our flesh may still be weak, our mourning turns into dancing . . . that though the consequence of our sin might remain, the sackcloth is exchanged for gladness. That we remember that His favor is for a lifetime.

As is often the case, and as David experienced in his sickness, there may be healing and recovery. And, as is always the case when tripped up in transgression, for those who humble themselves and repent of their sin, there is forgiveness through the blood of Jesus and the forever finished work of the cross. For His favor is for a lifetime.

And when the healing comes . . . when fellowship is restored . . . then “sing praises to the LORD, O you His saints, and give thanks to His holy name” (30:4).

His grace is sufficient. It is abundant grace. Grace which is able to sustain during illness. Grace which is able to secure during waywardness. Grace which is able to cause the soul to soar when there is contriteness.

The discipline is but for a moment . . . but His favor is for a lifetime . . . and time beyond a lifetime.

To Him be all glory . . .

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