Creating a Thankful People Through Deliverance

Dr. Rob Green September 25, 2022 Psalm 30

3 reasons you can be thankful through seasons of sorrow

I. Because the Lord Can Rescue from Sickness and Circumstances (vv. 1-3)

Psalm 30:1-3 - I will exalt You, Lord, for You have lifted me up, and have not let my enemies rejoice over me. Lord my God, I cried to You for help, and You healed me. Lord, You have brought up my soul from Sheol; You have kept me alive, that I would not go down to the pit.

II. Because God’s Disposition Is Favor Rather Anger Toward Us (v.4-5)

A. God’s deliverance moves us to sing with others

Psalm 30:4 - Sing praise to the Lord, you His godly ones, and praise the mention of His holiness.

B. Because God’s Fatherly discipline is momentary

Psalm 30:5a - For His anger is but for a moment…

C. Because God’s favor lasts a lifetime

Psalm 30:5b - His favor is for a lifetime; weeping may last for the night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning.

III. Because God’s Kindness Changes Your Sadness for Joy (v.6-12)

A. Beware the sorrow of self-sufficiency (vv. 6-7)

Psalm 30:6-7 - Now as for me, I said in my prosperity, “I will never be moved.” O Lord, by Your favor You have made my mountain to stand strong; You hid Your face, I was dismayed.

B. Be grateful that the Lord hears your prayers and forgives the broken hearted (vv. 8-10)

Psalm 30:8-10 - To You, O Lord, I called, and to the Lord I made supplication: What profit is there in my blood, if I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise You? Will it declare Your faithfulness? Hear, O Lord, and be gracious to me; O Lord, be my helper.

C. Give thanks that you can be clothed with gladness from God

Psalm 30:11-12 - You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness, that my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.

Isaiah 61:1-3 - The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted… to comfort all who mourn, to grant those who mourn in Zion, giving them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting.

This year our annual theme is Growing in Gospel Gratitude. After studying Philippians – a book dedicated to the joy that come from gospel participation, we moved to a series on properly handling criticism.

  • Now we are doing a series in the Psalms that emphasizes reasons to give thanks. Our series is entitled The Heart of Thanksgiving.

Some Psalms of thanksgiving occur when things are awesome. Those psalms are easy to understand. Life circumstances match the attitude of thanksgiving. But life is not always a box of chocolates. Sometimes we experience seasons of grief and sorrow. God wanted us to see that we can still express thanks in those times too.

With that in mind, please turn to Psalm 30.

  • Pastor Aucoin mentioned that most of our print Bibles include an editor’s note for each psalm (mine is in bold face type). For Psalm 30, my Bible reads “Thanksgiving for Deliverance from Death.” That is not inspired Scripture. It is a Bible study help to us.
  • However, underneath that line in a special small font is, “A Psalm: a Song at the dedication of the House. A Psalm of David.”

This is actually verse 1 of the Hebrew version – Thus, we treat that as Scripture. That heading tells us that David wrote the Psalm. We also know that this was a song at a dedication service. HOWEVER, what does “house” refer to? We have two reasonable options.

  • It could be a song David composed for the dedication of the temple that his son Solomon would build. We know David made many preparations for the temple even though he was not granted permission to build it.
  • It could be a song for the dedication of David’s house … which he did build.

But as is often the case, a reference like “dedication of the house” might not be meant to refer to only one day.

  • Rather, it may invite us to return to the OT passages to get the full story. I will explain these potential stories as I go.

Please follow along as I read. This is the Word of the Lord. Read Psalm 30. We titled this message, “Creating a Thankful People Through Deliverance.” I would like us to consider Three reasons you can be thankful through seasons of sorrow.

I. Because the Lord can rescue from sickness and circumstances (vv. 1-3)

Psalm 30:1-3 “I will exalt You, Lord, for You have lifted me up, And have not let my enemies rejoice over me. Lord my God, I cried to You for help, and You healed me.

Lord, You have brought up my soul from Sheol; You have kept me alive, that I would not go down to the pit.” (vv. 1-3)

Virtually every commentator on this Psalm suggests that David experienced a life threatening circumstance. Sheol is the place of departed spirits. You do not go into Sheol and then return.

  • David says, “you kept me alive,” “you lifted me up,” and “you healed me.”
  • It was as if he was standing on the edge of death and his enemies were enjoying the show.
  • They were waiting for him to fall – to never return.

But God. But God. The Lord delivered David from the sickness and restored him to strength.

  • As David looks back after being rescued his heart rejoices. He praises the Lord due to his deliverance.

Have you or someone you know ever got their life back?

I asked if I could highlight a few stories this morning to illustrate this point.

  • Larry Cole … Larry and Julie have been very faithful members of our church for twenty years. Larry has been our class coordinator in the Sonrise ABF for a long time. In fact, I told him he could stop when I retire (😊). I remember one of their first serving assignments was helping with Christmas for Everyone the very first year.
  • Larry is a big strong guy … until he was diagnosed with cancer.

Those of us who were around Larry during those times watched him slowly waste away. Each week he looked closer to death. The big strong guy was losing weight and looking weaker by the day. I remember Larry telling our Sonrise ABF that they about killed him to cure him.

  • Powerful words.
  • But ultimately the Lord had final say. The Lord provided everything Larry needed. While Larry thanked his care team, his first praise was to the Lord for delivering him.

Larry and Julie just celebrated her retirement with a wonderful 3 week vacation to kick off their retirement. How do like that, a vacation to start their vacation?

  • There was a day when they rightly wondered whether Larry would see that day.
  • Today, Larry looks like the big strong guy again. It was Psalm 30 right in front of our eyes.

More recently, we all know the story of Becky Arthur. After the birth of their most recent child, Becky struggled to recover. At first, she thought she was dealing with normal recovery issues.

  • As time went on, they wondered if something was wrong.
  • Indeed, it was. Stage 4 cancer.

Dave and Becky had to prepare themselves for the reality that Becky may not survive. It was a difficult and scary time. Due to their frequent Facebook posts many of us followed their journey as they experienced it.

  • Many tests, treatments, and surgeries. Many discouraging and difficult days. Chemotherapy, multiple surgeries, difficult recoveries were all part of her life.

I recently saw Becky and asked how she was doing. Her answer: great. I have my life back. She is active. She is involved in raising their children. She can support and encourage her husband. She is back. It is so great to see. The Lord did something amazing. He delivered her.

One more. Earlier this summer you all sent our family to serve with Bill and Naty Tully in Romania/Moldova/Ukraine.

  • Naty’s father (his name is Andre) had a terminal illness requiring a liver transplant. He went to Italy and they denied him. They said he was too old and sickly. He requested another meeting.
  • In that meeting he found out there was a liver that was previously exposed to hepatitis. The doctor told him, he would probably die with in a year or two. Andre believed God would take him home when he was ready – not before. He convinced the doctor to give him the hepatitis infected liver.
  • He has had it for 15 years. It has meant 15 years of ministry including serving countless Ukrainians. When we were with him, he had no plans of slowing down. He had life and vitality and plans to use it for God’s glory.

As I read Psalm 30 Larry’s, Becky’s, and Andre’s stories jumped off the page. Sometimes the Lord rescues us from the most dire sicknesses and circumstances. He gives us our life back.

What should be our response?

“I will exalt you, Lord.” I am going to lift high the name of Jesus as my rescuer and deliverer.

Before I move forward in the Psalm, I need to point out three issues.

#1. The Lord does not always deliver us from death.

There comes a time when the Lord chooses to take us home. He wants us to exalt him in his presence. Other Psalms and passages of Scripture apply most directly in those moments.

  • David writes this Psalm having experienced the deliverance.

#2. It is possible that David’s sickness was a consequence of his sin

If this Psalm refers to the temple dedication, then the larger story involves a sinful incident in David’s life. Despite protests and the countless victories the Lord gave him, he wanted a census taken of his army.

  • Those closest to him objected. David did not heed their advice.
  • The purpose was pride. Look at what I have! Look how awesome I am!
  • He was not evaluating how to position his army against attack.

The Lord brought a severe consequence for his pride. 2 Samuel 24:12-14 says, “Go and speak to David, ‘Thus the Lord says, “I am offering you three things; choose for yourself one of them, which I will do to you.” ’ ” 13 So Gad came to David and told him, and said to him, “Shall seven years of famine come to you in your land? Or will you flee three months before your foes while they pursue you? Or shall there be three days’ pestilence in your land? Now consider and see what answer I shall return to Him who sent me.” 14 Then David said to Gad, “I am in great distress. Let us now fall into the hand of the Lord for His mercies are great, but do not let me fall into the hand of man.”

David ultimately makes the right choice, but 70,000 people die and David possibly experiences a deadly illness. Even the NT recognizes that deadly sickness can be a consequence of sin. If that is the right background, David rejoices that God delivered him from the illness that resulted from his sin.

Even when we receive the Lord’s discipline, he might give us our life back. More on that subject later.

#3. The death to life focus could be metaphorical

If the census of 2 Sam 24 is the proper background, then it is possible that David’s sickness is death-like feelings of guilt for all those who died in the plague due to David’s sin.

Warren Wiersbe in his commentary writes, “It was David’s pride that had brought the plague to the land, and he felt the pain of this deeply, so much so that he thought his convicted conscience and broken heart would kill him. But God heard his pleas and brought him from death to life.” Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Worshipful, 1st ed., “Be” Commentary Series (Colorado Springs, CO: Cook Communications Ministries, 2004), 117.

If that is the correct sense, then some of us have experienced something similar. Our sinfulness brought consequences on others and we experience intense guilt knowing they suffer.

  • Those who are married recognize that their sin impacts their spouse.
  • Those who have children understand that their decisions have significant consequences for their children.
  • It is sad to see the callousness of some hearts who do not seem to care.
  • It is possible that David feels the weight of the guilt knowing that his actions brought consequences on the nation.

We entitled this point “sicknesses and circumstances” to highlight the possibility that David’s “sickness” in vv. 1-3 could have a few different options.

  • It could be a sickness that has nothing to do with his sin, it could be a sickness that is a consequence of his sin, or it could be a metaphorical struggle.
  • God chose not to tell us more clearly.

He did tell us, however, about several common elements: It felt like he was going to die. God delivered him and returned his life to him. He rejoiced and lifted the Lord high.

Friends, the Lord is the great rescuer and deliverer. The Lord can deliver us from death producing sicknesses and from death feeling circumstances. The Lord often does.

We praise him for doing that in our life and in the lives of others. As you think about this last year, what has the Lord delivered you from? Who else have you seen delivered by the mighty hand of God?

We also see that we should praise him …

II. Because God’s disposition is favor rather anger toward us (v.4-5)

When we experience hardship and suffering it is very easy to shrink our world to the size of our suffering. It is difficult to see beyond it. Our focus and attention is on relief. What can I do to minimize the pain?

This is a very helpful way to keep our vision wide. Remembering that God’s disposition to us is favor rather than anger encourages me to look to him.

It is true that God is sometimes angry with his people. But why?

  • Is it that God had a bad day and now decides to take it out on someone else?
  • Some of us have been like that. On good days we are patient and on bad days we are short.
  • Some people have acted like that.
  • Some of us have responded to another person harshly because they did not want to deal with them.
  • Some people think about God in this way.

How we think about God will significantly impact how we respond in sorrow and it will impact how we will view his rescue. Please notice how vv. 4-5 describe God.

God’s deliverance moves us to sing with others.

Psalm 30:4 “Sing praise to the Lord, you His godly ones, And praise the mention of His holiness.”

Some believers seem to know a whole lot of music that has nothing to do with Jesus but cannot bring themselves to sing to the Lord. Here, we are responding to his deliverance.

  • Regardless of the source or kind of our difficult circumstance or sickness, the Lord provided rescue.

Even that might not break the cycle. We find another way to explain our deliverance. Friends, it is his perfect holiness and his deliverance that gives us reason to praise.

I am not speaking only about corporate singing time.

  • I realize that some of us sing well and others of us struggle to carry a tune in a bucket. But singing and making melody in our heart to the Lord occurs in the car on the way to work, in the evening, and in the quiet moments of our own thoughts.

Believers in Jesus, God is good to you. Signing praise is a natural response to his deliverance and disposition toward you. Notice what comes next …

Because God’s Fatherly discipline is momentary.

Psalm 30:5a “For His anger is but for a moment”

The Bible tells us that God is slow to anger. In fact, God’s attitude toward his people is love, care, compassion, and kindness.

  • That said, the Bible reminds us on a dozen occasions that God’s people provoke God to anger through rebellion and idolatry.

Here is where fatherly discipline fits in. He knows that it is not good for you to get away with your sin. His discipline is designed to help you repent and change so that you live more faithful to him. Two additional benefits are

  • You learn right from wrong. You learn how to live according to the truth and that is good for you.
  1. God gives us his Word, but sometimes the lesson does not register. We can learn it again. Hopefully it does not take too many tries.
  1. I want to drive around people who follow the rules rather than around those who think they own the road.

God disciplines his children – even possibly allowing a sickness – because we provoke him to anger through our rebellion. Apparently, David recognizes that.

  • I encourage us to see that God brings discipline because it is good for us.

His discipline, according to v. 5, is for a moment. We read in 2 Sam 24 how God gave 3 options for discipline. David requested the plague because he trusted the hand of the Lord more than men. The Bible tells us that God cut it short. He could not bear to see more suffering on his people.

Friends, when the Lord disciplines you, do not rebel against it. Listen to it. Learn from it. Change because of it.

  • Sometimes the consequences are very light. It tricks us into thinking that our rebellion is not a big deal.
  • If we continue in our rebellion, then they provoke the Lord to anger to get our attention.
  • The Lord only sent his people into exile after hundreds of years. His anger is slow.
  • Let’s give thanks for that rather than take advantage of it.

Because God’s favor is a lifetime

Psalm 30:5b “His favor is for a lifetime; Weeping may last for the night, But a shout of joy comes in the morning.” (v. 5b)

God’s overall disposition toward every believer is favor. It lasts a lifetime. In fact, it lasts for all eternity. This is a sharp contrast with momentary discipline.

I believe that the way we view God, ourselves, and others radically impacts how we respond.

  • For example, if I view a person as a rebel, then I will treat them differently than if I see them as a sufferer.
  • If we see a person as arrogant, we treat them differently than if we see them as humble.
  • If I view God as the sovereign king of the universe, but one who is constantly mad at me, then I will keep my distance.
  • I will not pray because he could use my words against me.
  • I will not serve because it doesn’t matter.
  • I want to tell him my fears and blessings.
  • I will want to live for him knowing that I can please and honor him.

Friends, God viewing us with favor should not be surprising to us. Even when he brings discipline, he brings it with favor toward us. He is a loving father who wants to give good gifts to his children. Why? Because he already gave his best gift.

Ephesians 2 is one of my favorite passages in the Bible. It tells me that a loving God gave his son and intervened in my life while I was spiritually dead in my sins.

  • Physically I was going from bad to worse because I was under the control of Satan and his host. But God intervened because of his mercy and love.

He said, “For by grace you have been saved through faith’ and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

Friends, if you know Christ as your Lord and savior God rescues you because his disposition toward you is favor.

  • Yes, he may bring discipline because you provoked him, but he wants you to respond well so that blessing can ensue.

I understand that some believers suffer intensely. Paul often says that God called him to suffer for his name.

  • There are people who God has called to especially suffer and to lift high Christ in the suffering. This suffering has nothing to do with sin. Some of the greatest heroes of the faith were called to suffer.

Not only did God reconcile us to himself through Christ, but he also, according to Ephesians 2, reconciled us to each other. He gave us a family to help and encourage each other.

  • God provides what we need in him and through his people.

If you do not have a personal relationship with Jesus, then you remain under God’s wrath. He is not your heavenly father and he is not providing fatherly discipline. Instead, you are bound for an eternity apart from his presence in hell.

  • He sent Christ to pay for your sin.
  • He tells you to exercise faith and belief. You cannot earn your salvation, but you can trust in what Jesus did for it.

Romans 10:9-10 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.

I am encouraging you to see your sin before God and to see his love in sending Christ to dies for your sin. He desires to have a disposition of favor toward you too.

There is no doubt that sorrow from God’s discipline is not very fun. Yet, we can rejoice in it knowing that God’s disposition toward us is favor rather than anger.

  • He provides that discipline that we might grow to be more like Jesus and bless the people around us.

We can give thanks in sorrow because God can deliver and because his disposition toward us is favor rather than anger. The third reason is …

III. Because God’s kindness changes your sadness for joy (v.6-12)

At times, the background to the psalms is difficult to determine with precision. But it seems to be true that David explains how God changed his sadness for joy. The sadness came from pride and the resulting consequences.

Because God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble, pride is an ever present danger. Pride seems satisfying at first. But the more arrogance we have, the worse it gets. The Lord is so gracious to make this change so clear.

A. Beware the sorrow of self-sufficiency (vv. 6-7).

Psalm 30:6-7Now as for me, I said in my prosperity, “I will never be moved.” O Lord, by Your favor You have made my mountain to stand strong; You hid Your face, I was dismayed.” (v.6-7)

Wow! Just wow. David confesses his pride. The Lord blessed him and his response, “I will never be moved.” Well, then Mr. hotshot. How sad! David should have responded in praise and thanks to God. Not in an arrogant … look at me Mr. big shot.

Here is what happens … we can either walk the path of humility or the path of humiliation.

While the Lord made him strong, he hid his face. We have all seen what pride will do a person. It eats them from the inside. The more arrogant they become … how everything is a problem outside of them … the more sorrow they face as they destroy relationships, live with self-sufficiency, and refuse to listen to others.

  • The Lord, in his grace, is too kind to let that believer continue in their self-deception. He exposes it and brings us low.

May God help us learn the lesson from the text rather than be forced to learn it in real life.

B. Be grateful that the Lord hears your prayers and forgives the broken hearted (vv. 8-10).

Remember how the Lord’s disposition to his children is favor? Notice what comes next.

Psalm 30:8-10 To You, O Lord, I called, And to the Lord I made supplication: “What profit is there in my blood, if I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise You? Will it declare Your faithfulness? “Hear, O Lord, and be gracious to me; O Lord, be my helper.” (v. 8-10)

David knows that while the Lord humbled him and refused to let him continue to function in his self-deceiving pride, the Lord’s attitude was favor.

So he begs God for forgiveness. He admits wrong. He admits his arrogance in God’s face. He wants to continue to lift high his name. He knows that if he dies, someone else must praise the Lord and declare his faithfulness. He is asking for the privilege to try again.

God is the God of second chances (and 3rd, 4th, 5th, … 10th). God is gracious, compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness, forgiving iniquities to the thousandth generation.

Believer, maybe you have been living in prideful rebellion against the Lord. Maybe the Lord has started to humble you. Please listen now.

  • Stop blaming the people and circumstances around you.
  • Stop oscillating from self-sufficiency to self-pity.
  • Start acknowledging your pride. Request the Lord’s forgiveness and seek to destroy the arrogance.

Maybe the Lord has humbled you and gave you your life back. Praise him. Tell of his greatness. Talk about the forgiving God to people in your circles who need it.

If you do not know Christ as your savior, then we want to tell you clearly that the Lord wants you to come confessing your sin and he is faithful and just to forgive you and cleanse you from all unrighteousness.

C. Give thanks that you can be clothed with gladness from God.

Psalm 30:11-12 You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness, That my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.” (v.11-12)

Brothers and sisters, we know that we are all clothed in something better than a tuxedo or ballroom dress, we all experience the joy of being made new and dressed in the righteousness of Christ.

Galatians 3:27 – For all of you were baptized into Christ have clothed yourself with Christ.

This kind of gratitude and joy only comes from experiencing the grace of our God. This is the joy that God promised to his people because of the good news of the coming of the Messiah.

Remember what Isaiah wrote about our Savior…in

Isaiah 61:1-3 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, Because the Lord has anointed me To bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, …. To comfort all who mourn, To grant those who mourn in Zion, Giving them a garland instead of ashes, The oil of gladness instead of mourning, The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting.

David said, That my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent. I will give thanks to you forever.”

The Lord’s deliverance did not make David silent toward God even though he experienced loving discipline but caused him to sing to God.

Since David was a man after God’s own heart, he also took specific actions that demonstrated his appreciation. I want to make several possible suggestions:

  • Ask yourself when is the last time you explained God’s goodness to a person who needs Jesus. We want Lafayette to be a hard place to get to hell from because there is an army of believers who refuse to be silent about the goodness of God.
  • Pray daily and possibly create a thankful list on a weekly basis for the sole purpose of giving thanks to the Lord.
  • Repent of pride/arrogance that is blinding you and creating hardships for the people around you.
  • Express your thanks in (a) obedience … Jesus said that if you love me keep my commandments. Please do not act one way at church and then live differently outside of it. (b) generosity … many are so generous already … we are asking that all of us choose to be generous toward the capital campaign as an expression of thanks to the Lord. It is about expanding the possibility of providing children a quality Christian education. (c) be genuine. I fear that there are some children who might be tempted to turn away from the Lord due to the hypocrisy of their parents.

O Lord my God, we will give thanks to You forever. Even in seasons of sickness, difficult circumstances, and discipline 1) Because you are a God who can rescue, 2) you are disposed toward us with favor, and 3) you change our sadness for joy.


Dr. Rob Green


Pastor of Faith Church East and Seminary Ministries - Faith Church

MABC Department Chair, Instructor - Faith Bible Seminary

Director of the Biblical Counseling Training Conference - Faith Biblical Counseling Ministries


B.S. - Engineering Physics, Ohio State University
M.Div. - Baptist Bible Seminary
Ph.D. - New Testament, Baptist Bible Seminary

Dr. Rob Green joined the Faith Church staff in August, 2005. Rob’s responsibilities include oversight of the Faith Biblical Counseling Ministry and teaching New Testament at Faith Bible Seminary. He serves on the Council Board of the Biblical Counseling Coalition and as a fellow for the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors. Pastor Green has authored, co-authored, and contributed to 9 books/booklets. Rob and his wife Stephanie have three children.

Read Rob Green's Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Green to Faith Church.