Summary: Are you facing a situation in which you could be disappointed? Why not set up a celebration to count your blessings no matter what the outcome?
Opening illustration: After receiving his second Academy Award, Denzel Washington said to his family, “I told you, if I lost tonight, I’d come home and we’d celebrate. And if I won tonight, I’d come home and we’d celebrate.” Denzel, a Christian, was trusting God, whether in blessing or in disappointment.
A Christian couple I know were inspired to follow Denzel’s example. The woman was applying for a dream job that had just opened up where she worked. The interview went well, but she knew she might not get the position. Her husband suggested, “Let’s make reservations at our favorite restaurant this Friday to celebrate - no matter what the outcome.”
Soon the news came that someone else was offered the job. But that Friday the disappointed couple still celebrated. While eating a delicious meal, they were able to count their blessings and renew their faith in the God who holds tomorrow’s opportunities in His hand.
When the psalmist counted his blessings, he was lifted out of his despair and praised God, saying, “You have turned for me my mourning into dancing” (Ps. 30:11).
Are you facing a situation in which you could be disappointed? Why not set up a celebration to count your blessings no matter what the outcome? (Dennis Fisher, ODB)
Let us catch up with David in Psalm 30 and see how he give thanks to God even when he had great many disappointments.
Introduction: It is a classic psalm of thanksgiving where the speaker declares or narrates to the congregation what God has done to deliver him/her from crisis. The Hebrew term for this kind of psalm is todah, a song that confesses how God has acted to deliver. In poetic form, the psalm tells a story of thanksgiving; it narrates the divine action of deliverance that has brought forth praise.
The Psalm narrates a story that envisions God as present in joy and in trouble, that is, in all of life. The psalm proclaims a gospel of divine involvement in the world in all of life. It is a daring act of faith to see God in all the parts of life, and our psalm with powerful poetry helps us to imagine such a reality. The psalmist strongly holds to God's providence in the midst of a crisis of life and death, and God did not leave the psalmist alone but came to deliver her/him from the crisis.
Life as praise or thanksgiving would be an appropriate response to the psalm. The goal of the divine deliverance narrated in the psalm reaches beyond the rescue itself to the response of gratitude as a completion of the prayer. After the storm of life is over, there is a Psalm and this is that Psalm.
How to give thanks in disappointments?
1. Intention to ‘Give Thanks’ (vs. 1-5)
The opening of the psalm declares praise and thanksgiving for God's rescue from the crisis at hand and from opponents who had made the crisis more difficult. The psalmist lifts up God just as God has lifted up the psalmist.
• You have drawn me up
• You have healed me
• You brought me up
• You restored me
• God has delivered the psalmist from the power of death and Sheol
As the Hebrew word ‘rapha,’ signifies to heal, interpreters have been led, from this consideration, to restrict it to sickness. But as it is certain, that it sometimes signifies to restore, or to set up again, and is moreover applied to an altar or a house when they are said to be repaired or rebuilt, it may properly enough mean here any deliverance.
Sheol and the Pit (verse 3) indicate the realm of death or the underworld. The poetic imagery suggests being lifted up out of a well or cistern as a way of narrating God's rescue from the power of death. God has delivered from the grip of the power of death and has brought this one back to full life. Central to the psalm is the confession that it is God who has given this new life.
Beginning in verse 4, the speaker addresses the congregation, the "faithful ones." They are called to join in the thanksgiving to God. Verse 5 uses powerful poetic imagery to articulate the reason the congregation should give thanks: God's anger and the resulting weeping are but a moment in the context of a life of joy and hope.
Another way to put this is that God's 'no' to the faith community always comes in the context of God's 'yes.' Night and day become symbols of God's anger and favor. The striking reversal witnessed in verse 5 is characteristic of the poetic power of this psalm; other reversals are in verses 2, 7, and 11.
In the meantime we should recognize that in God’s favor is life (verse 5) when He so chooses and we must accept His decision is when He chooses otherwise. When it is given, God’s favor is like a shield covering us (Psalm 5:12). God’s favor provides mercy (Isaiah 60:10), preservation (Psalm 86:2, Hebrew), and security (Psalm 41:11), and assures that our prayers are answered if they are in God’s will Psalm106:4. 26 Such popular concepts that “hope springs eternal” and that things will be better with “the dawn of a new day come” all come from Psalm 30:5.