Psalms 1 - 50

by Mike Raiter

Day 31

Read Psalm 30

Sometimes, Christians are asked to give their testimony. This might be a simple conversation with a friend or a short talk in church. In our testimony we often speak of our hard times or even our failures. However, the main theme of a Christian's testimony should be the goodness and grace of God, and of how, through the good and bad times, ″You turned my wailing into dancing″ (Psalm 30:11).

David knew wailing, but his testimony is that God's grace turns tears into songs

We are told that David wrote this psalm for the dedication of the temple. Of course, it was his son, Solomon, who built and dedicated the temple (1 Kings 8), so perhaps David first sang this psalm as he brought the ark into Jerusalem and danced before the Lord (2 Samuel 6:12-15).

David begins by exalting-lifting up-the Lord, because the Lord has lifted him up (Psalm 30:1). God has spared David's life. Is David referring to a life-threatening illness (″and you healed me″, v. 2) or the attacks of his enemies (v. 1)? Perhaps it is both. His testimony is that God has saved his life, and he invites Israel to praise God with him.

David does not hide his faults. He had experienced God's anger, presumably for his sin (v. 5). There was also a time when success had made him complacent in his spiritual life (v. 6). God shook him out of his complacency by turning His face away from him (v. 7). David's testimony, though, is that God's anger lasts only for a moment, while His grace is eternal.

What a wonderful truth to hold on to! Some time ago, a man confessed to me that he hadn't been to church for seven years because he felt so guilty for a sin he had committed. He felt that God's anger lasts a lifetime. No. It passes like the night, and then we awake into the sunlight of His grace (v. 5).

In many Christian traditions, Psalm 30 is read at Easter. The great church leader, St. Augustine, believed the psalm sang of ″the joy of the resurrection″.7 But there is no resurrection without a cross, just as there is no day without night. David knew wailing, but his testimony is that God's grace turns tears into songs.

7Augustine, ″Exposition on Psalm 30″, in Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, ed. Philip Schaff, first series, vol. 8 (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing, 1888).


Think through:

What testimony would you give of God's saving grace?

What factors can lead to our spiritual complacency? How do we protect ourselves against this?

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About Author

Mike Raiter is a preacher, preaching trainer and former Principal of the Melbourne School of Theology in Australia. He is now Director of the Centre for Biblical Preaching and the author of a number of books, including Stirrings of the Soul, which won the 2004 Australian Christian Book of the Year award.

Author of Journey Through Series:

Our Daily Bread Journey Through® Series is a publication of Our Daily Bread Ministries.

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