"JOY COMETH IN THE MORNING"
"Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning" (Ps. 30:5)
INTRO.: A hymn which exhorts us to endure the weeping of the night in expectation of the joy that will come in the morning is "Joy Cometh in the Morning." The text was written by M. M. Wienland, about whom I have been able to find no further information, other than that he or she lived in the nineteenth century. One might guess that the author was a woman because other books have the following hymns by Mrs. M. M. Wienland: "By sin and pain and grief oppressed," "Come children, happy children," "I heard my blessed Savior’s voice," "Pilgrim, art thou worn and weary," and "When by affliction sorely tried." The tune (Wienland) for the song beginning "O weary pilgrim, lift your head" was composed by Edmund Simon Lorenz (1854-1942). I do not know when the song was first published, but my copy of Gospel Hymns Nos. 1-6 Complete (1894) says that an arrangement was copyright in 1887 by Ira D. Sankey. This would mean that the arrangement probably first appeared in Sankey’s Gospel Hymns No. 5 which came out in 1887. In Hymns and History, Forrest M. McCann wrote that the song was published in 1897, but that may be a misprint for 1887. Lorenz is known for such hymns as "Thou Thinkest, Lord, of Me" and "Wonderful Love of Jesus," as well as tunes for "Give Me the Bible" and "God Is Love" beginning "Come, let us all unite to sing." Among hymnbooks published by members of the Lord’s church during the twentieth century for use in churches of Christ, "Joy Cometh in the Morning" appeared, with only stanzas 1 and 3 and no chorus, in the 1937 Great Songs of the Church No. 2 edited by E. L. Jorgenson, where it is listed as "Copyright 1915 Renewal; Hope Publishing Co., Owner." At that time, a copyright could be renewed 28 years after it was initially taken out, which would mean that something renewed in 1915 would have been originally copyrighted in 1887.
The song points our minds toward the future, past whatever problems come to us in this life, to what God has prepared for His people in the hereafter.
I. Stanza 1 focuses on God’s Word
"Oh (O), weary pilgrim, lift your head, For joy cometh in the morning!
For God in His own Word hath said That joy cometh in the morning!"
A. Christians must recognize that they are but pilgrims in this life: 1 Pet. 2:11
B. Therefore, we lift up our heads to heaven, where our citizenship is and from whence we wait for the Savior: Phil. 3:20-21
C. To do this, we must turn to God’s word which is able to give us our inheritance: Acts 20:32
II. Stanza 2 focuses on God’s power to take away our fears and tears
"Ye trembling saints, dismiss your fears, For you cometh in the morning!
Oh, weeping mourner, dry your tears, For joy cometh in the morning!"
A. Saints may dismiss their fears because what Christ has done for us removes the fear of death: Heb. 2:14-15
B. There will still be times in life when we mourn: Matt. 5:4
C. However, Christians can be comforted and dry their tears because they do not sorrow as others without hope: 1 Thess. 4:13-18
III. Stanza 3 focuses God’s willingness to help the burdened and sinners
"Let every burdened soul look up, For joy cometh in the morning!
And every trembling sinner hope, For joy cometh in the morning!"
A. All of us have burdens in this life to bear: Ps. 55:22
B. However, as we bear our burdens, we can look up to God for help: Ps. 121:1-2
C. Furthermore, every trembling sinner can have hope because Jesus Christ came to save sinners: 1 Tim. 1:15
IV. Stanza 4 focuses on promise to end all sorrow and sighing
"Our God shall wipe all tears away, For joy cometh in the morning!
Sorrow and sighing flee away, For joy cometh in the morning!"’
A. In all our trials, we look to God because He is the God of all comfort: 2 Cor. 1:3-4
B. In the heavenly new Jerusalem, God shall wipe all tears away: Rev. 21:1-4
C. Then will be completely fulfilled the prophetic picture where sorrow and sighing flee away under the Messiah: Isa. 35:10
CONCL.: The chorus continues to remind us that we should look for the joy that God has prepared for us in the morning.
"Joy cometh in the morning! Joy cometh in the morning!
Weeping may endure for a night, But joy cometh in the morning!"
When I first saw this song years ago in Great Songs No. 2, I was impressed with its sense of glad hopefulness. I just wished that there were more stanzas, and I was elated when I found out that there are. There will be times when we must weep in this life, especially as it draws closer and closer to its end, but the child of God can take courage to endure whatever he must face from the promise that "Joy Cometh in the Morning."