“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. To You O Lord, I called… ‘Hear, O Lord, and be gracious to me; O Lord, be my helper.’ You have turned for me my mourning into dancing…O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.” Psalm 130:6-8, 10-12
Whenever God favors us we can come to the wrong conclusion that we have life, and God figured out. When things are going well, we can easily assume we are strong, immovable, and in control, but all this is a dangerous deception. Because God loves us so much, He breaks the power of presumption in our lives through something a speaker I heard recently call, “redemptive abandonment.” God hides His face during seasons of our lives, not because He doesn’t care, but because He cares so much.
Peter declares, “Even though all may fall away, yet I will not… Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You.” (Mark 14:29; 31) Peter has been favored as the top apostle and has come to the wrong conclusion. He believes he is strong, a veritable mountain of faith, immovable from his devotion. We can hear in his words, “all may fall away, yet I will not,” disdain for others who aren’t as strong as he presumes he is. His future leadership would be very limited if he continues with the false impression that he is somehow better than those he is leading, so Jesus explains to him the reality of prophetic abandonment.
“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have returned, strengthen your brothers.” (Luke 22:31-32) Before he falls, Peter despises the weakness of those around him because he presumes he has it all together. After he falls and is picked up again by God, he will see clearly that the plan is about Divine grace, not human strength. Peter will now be able to lead weak people with gentleness and understanding as a humble servant instead of as a know it all.
Because David (the author of the passage above) and Peter experienced the reality of how weak they were apart from God (abandonment), they were in a position to experience the favor of God (redemption) without becoming proud. Mourning can become dancing when the burden of presumption is broken off our lives.