For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.
This is one of those verses that leaves me with more questions than answers.
- How do we know when God is angry with us?
- Does he punish us with with “bad luck” or trials?
- How can we distinguish between God’s punishment and trials that are meant to make us stronger?
- Does he “give us over to our sin” as punishment? (meaning, let us suffer the consequences of sin)
Some of these questions you could give a qualified yes or no to, but I’ll leave those for another day. The main point of the verse (especially when you consider the context of the rest of the Psalm) is God’s mercy. While we may feel the occasional and momentary slap on the wrist (which feels a lot worse when we’re going through it), we are promised the favor of Christ throughout our lives. He enriches our life simply by being part of it.
I can’t tell you why you might be going through a tough time. It might be because of something you did and it might be because God has decided to put you through it. But I can tell you that God always has a higher purpose for you and will bless you “in the morning.” Sometimes literally the next morning – sometimes not. But his favor lasts a lifetime (and for eternity thereafter).