This morning, I was reading, once again, in the book of Psalms. If you know me, this is my go-to book. I write often from the Psalms. I have preached over a hundred times from the Psalms. It is a book that is raw, honest, yet hopeful. In so many of the Psalms I have seen myself and the words have spoken to me at the very moment I needed them the most. There are other times that I have been talking to someone and they ask questions just like the Psalmist did. I am a firm believer that it is okay to ask God questions. He knows what is in our hearts anyway.
As I was reading this morning, Psalm 77 really spoke to my heart. I thought of the many people who have been walking through challenging seasons and some who are even on the brink of giving up. The Psalmist brings hope to us when we face these situations.
4 You don’t let me sleep.
I am too distressed even to pray!
5 I think of the good old days,
long since ended,
6 when my nights were filled with joyful songs.
I search my soul and ponder the difference now.
7 Has the Lord rejected me forever?
Will he never again be kind to me?
8 Is his unfailing love gone forever?
Have his promises permanently failed?
9 Has God forgotten to be gracious?
Has he slammed the door on his compassion? Interlude
10 And I said, “This is my fate;
the Most High has turned his hand against me.” (Psalm 77:4-10 NLT)
The writer is looking back on the good days and how they appear to be a distant in the rear-view mirror. He is writing from a place of feeling forgotten, unloved, rejected. The wording of this Psalm reveals that they perceive everything that is happening is done with a harshness. He uses words like “permanent”, or phrases like “slammed the door”. You can sense the emotion of this whole passage, especially when the writer resigns to the place that we all get at one time or another. This must be my fate in life.
Have you ever felt that way? Things are always going wrong and nothing turns out right. “It must be my fate in life!” Many have even taken it a step further; “God has turned His back on me.” But nothing could be farther from the truth. Certainly, God has not turned His back on you, nor is it your fate to live a life in the mullygrubs. God has more for you than the current season you find yourself in. This is why the next part of the passage is so powerful.
In the midst of asking questions and feeling forsaken, the Psalmist stops to reconsider.
11 But then I recall all you have done, O Lord;
I remember your wonderful deeds of long ago.
12 They are constantly in my thoughts.
I cannot stop thinking about your mighty works. (Psalm 77:11-12 NLT)
His mind shifts from thinking of being forgotten to remembering how God had done wonderful things in the past. The Psalmist shifts his thinking from the present situation to seeing what God did before. Now, the writer’s thoughts are consumed by the mighty works of God. He cannot stop thinking of them.
This is important for our lives. Remembering what God did before gives you faith to get through your situation and to see a breakthrough in your future. God’s blessings in the past guarantee that He will see you through to another blessing in the future. You just have to hang on and keep going until you see Him move.
Do not allow your thoughts to be consumed with the present crisis or situation. But let God’s great works be constantly on your mind. Consume your thoughts with the goodness of God and His great provision.