Years ago, I cared for my mom as she was in hospice. I thanked God for the four months He allowed me to serve as her caregiver and asked Him to help me through the grieving process. I often struggled to praise God as I wrestled with my mixed emotions. But as my mom breathed her last breath and I wept uncontrollably, I whispered, “Hallelujah.” I felt guilty for praising God in that devastating moment until, years later, I took a closer look at Psalm 30.
In David’s song “for the dedication of the temple,” he worshiped God for His faithfulness and mercy (vv. 1–3). He encouraged others to “praise his holy name” (v. 4). Then David explored how intimately God entwines hardship and hope (v. 5). He acknowledged times of grief and rejoicing, times of feeling secure and being dismayed (vv. 6–7). His cries for help remained laced with confidence in God (vv. 7–10). The echo of his praise wove through David’s moments of wailing and dancing, grief and joy (v. 11). As if acknowledging the mystery and complexity of enduring affliction and anticipating God’s faithfulness, David proclaimed his endless devotion to God (v. 12).
Like David, we can sing, “Lord my God, I will praise you forever” (v. 12). Whether we’re happy or hurting, God can help us declare our trust in Him and lead us to worship Him with joyful shouts and tears of praise.