Tear-Stained Joy

Most of the Psalms are stained in tears. They are written from a place of brokenness. They offer hope for nearly every season of life.

If the seasons represent the state of the soul, then most of the Psalms seem to be penned in the bitter cold of winter. They reflect on a summer long ago that was lost all to soon to the fall. They anticipate and hope for the coming spring. But they’re written with trembling fingers.

The Psalms are telling a story. My friend David “Gunner” Gunderson wrote his doctoral dissertation on the structure of the Pslams arguing that even the way they are organized points to a narrative format. That’s why I like to call the Psalms the “Soundtrack of the Bible.” They set all of redemptive history to music.

The Psalms are songs of joy written from and for every season of life. But they all anticipate the spring. To the world our joy must look like losing. Often our joy sounds like lament. Usually, to us, our joy feels like longing. But we know, because of the coming spring, our joy is lasting.

“I will be glad,” the Psalmist tells us, “and exult in you” (Psalm 9:2a). This is dogged determination to keep hope in the midst of a messed up world. This is a joy that is stained in tears. More importantly, it is a joy purchased with blood.

So, exalt in him and be glad today. You are not forgotten. The wind of winter may chill you to the bone. But spring is coming.