From Sackcloth to Gladness

This is a 5-week devotional series. Each Saturday, we will be posting a short and focused article. Read for a morning devotional by yourself or with a group! Discussion questions can be found at the end.

With personal struggles, concern for family or friends, and chaos around the world, our natural tendency is to sink into a mode of sadness. 

I remember this happening to me after reading about a tragedy online.

As an empath with mental illness, tragedies do not sit well with me. In fact, just the hearing of one can leave me anxious for days.  

From Anxiety to Joy

The Psalms have been a big help in my journey of trusting God with the things I cannot control. They are real and display vulnerability, yet always turn into songs of joy and praise. 

Psalm 30:11 is a wonderful example of this. 

You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness.

Psalm 30:11 NKJV

David had been through quite a bit in his lifetime. He understood what it meant to be sorrowful or discouraged. Look at what he says. “You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness.”  

In the Bible, when someone put on sackcloth, it was to show their sadness and grief.

We see an example of this in the book of Esther. After Mordecai found out that Haman (the king’s righthand man) was planning to destroy all the Jews, he tore his clothes and put on sackcloth. 

You see, sackcloth was a sign of utter despair. To know that God can take us from a point of complete darkness to a point of true joy is amazing!  

No matter what it is we go through, whether it be an illness, a dry spell in our Christian life, or worry about the future, God can turn it into good.

What a joy it is to know that we serve a mighty God; the only One who can put off our sackcloth and replace it with gladness.  


  • What is your “sackcloth” experience?
  • How do you think David learned to trust God, even in sadness and grief?
  • Do you believe God can turn your sadness into gladness? Claim the promise of Psalm 30:11 today.