It is no secret that at times we can become bummed, depressed, distressed, or just in a downer. This can be caused by many things, often of which are hard times. No, I am not just talking about financially, though for some it just maybe that. For others, it may be a hard time with a friendship, or a hope differed for certain situations? Shoot, in today’s day and age, maybe it is anything regarding Covid? It is amazing how much our feelings are affected by the hard times we are faced with, though.
Every night, I have been reading the book of Psalms with my parents. Last night, we just read Psalm 77. I love this psalm for two main reasons. First off, when facing hard times, where did the Psalmist, Asaph, turn?
"I cry aloud to God, aloud to God, and he will hear me. In the day of my trouble, I seek the Lord; in the night, my hand is stretched out without wearying; my soul refuses to be comforted. When I remember God, I moan; when I meditate, my spirit faints. You hold my eyelids open; I am so troubled that I cannot speak. I consider the days of old, the years long ago. I said, "Let me remember my song in the night; let me meditate in my heart." Then my spirit made a diligent search: "Will the Lord spurn forever, and never again be favorable? Has his steadfast love forever ceased? Are his promises at an end for all time? Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has he in anger shut up his compassion?" Psalm 77:1-9 ESV
Asaph went to the Lord. He cried out to him. What do you do when you are troubled? When you are distressed? Do you stretch out your hands to the Lord without weariness? Do you cry out to him for comfort? Is He the first being you turn to?
Another thing I love is Asaph remembers. Asaph remembers all that God has done. When we pray to God, he shifts our thoughts. No longer are there thoughts of our hard times and “I” statements in our prayers. But there are thoughts of God instead. Asaph worshipped God instead. In the worshipping, Asaph remembers what God has done. God saved his people and parted the sea.
"Then I said, "I will appeal to this, to the years of the right hand of the Most High." I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your wonders of old. I will ponder all your work and meditate on your mighty deeds. Your way, O God, is holy. What god is great like our God? You are the God who works wonders; you have made known your might among the peoples. You with your arm redeemed your people, the children of Jacob and Joseph. When the waters saw you, O God, when the waters saw you, they were afraid; indeed, the deep trembled. The clouds poured out water; the skies gave forth thunder; your arrows flashed on every side. The crash of your thunder was in the whirlwind; your lightnings lighted up the world; the earth trembled and shook. Your way was through the sea, your path through the great waters; yet your footprints were unseen. You led your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron." Psalm 77:10-20 ESV
You know, sometimes I get bummed. I know we all do. Just about all of the Psalms are written by those going through heartache. All that is wanted in those moments are comfort, peace, and joy. At least, that is what I want in those moments anyway (and what I have read in the Psalms). God never fails to provide it. I like to imagine that upon remembering what God has done in the past, Asaph was comforted. He was comforted in knowing that the moment he was in will not last. He was comforted in knowing that more of God’s miracles and works are to come. Really, remembering God’s help in the past probably gave Asaph courage. God was, is, and always will be. If he helped before, he will help again according to his will. God is capable and trustworthy.
Go to God first. Worship Him. Remember what he has done. It will change your outlook and give you the courage to continue on, just like it did Asaph. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!