October 5

Psalms 30:5, 11-12 (NIV) 5For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.

11You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, 12that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever.

It is interesting to note that David wrote this psalm for the dedication of the temple, which he knew would happen after his death. He so longed for the completion of a house for God and a permanent place for people to worship Him, that he made every preparation he could before he died, even the songs to be sung. Do we have such a desire for the spiritual house of God?

In this song David reminds us that our God given afflictions are very brief, but God's favor lasts all our life. We may cry through the night, but God brings us joy the next morning. Whatever trial we are facing, it helps to remember this truth. Some trials seem long, but in the light of eternity and the favor of God upon our lives, they are fleeting. The Apostle Paul had a thorn in his side for years. It caused him to depend upon the grace and strength of God. This is quite different from dealing with the consequences of our sin. It is the condition of living in a fallen world.

God turns our wailing into an exuberant dance of joy. He takes the sackcloth of mourning from us and gives us a robe of joy. Know that on the other side of every trial there will be times of joy again, not just happiness, but heart filled joy. Why does He do this for us? It is so that we may sing to Him for His goodness to us, and thank Him for the lessons learned. We thank Him for walking through that Valley of the Shadow of Death with us.

Consider: We will give thanks to God forever for His favor upon us, for sharing His victory with us, and for filling us with His enduring joy.

October 5

Ephesians 5:21-22, 25 (NIV) 21Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. 22Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.

25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her...

The wisdom of how to get along as a couple is found in Paul's advice in this letter. He first tells us all that we should have an attitude of submission to one another. In the military usage of this word, it meant to operate in the position you were placed under your commander. In the common usage it meant to give in to another's demands. How many arguments have broken out and turned into horrible divisions because we are too proud to submit? Ask yourself if the issue at hand is worth making a stink about. If not, just humbly submit in love and respect. It takes a strong spiritual person to do this.

Then Paul applies it to the woman's role in the home. Men have a need to be respected and honored. This submission in the home meets one of the man's basic needs. Where a wife is always putting down her husband or ignoring his requests, you will find a home in painful turmoil.

The man's role is to love his wife "just as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her." That is the more demanding role. If he does that, the woman will not have a problem submitting any more than we have a problem submitting to Christ. He will be meeting her most basic need, to be cherished and cared for out of love. That love is expressed in the husband giving up himself for his wife. Where the husband does not express love toward his wife, you will find a home in painful turmoil.

When you put these two ingredients together, love and submission, you will find a household that is at peace and full of joy. This is the basis for most marital counseling.

Consider: What can you do to fit into your God ordained role? The only way to help your spouse fit in their role is by living out your role more perfectly.