Today’s Bible reading is Psalm 77. It describes an intense “day of trouble.” Here’s a painful sampling:
I cry aloud to God. In the night my hand is stretched out without wearying. My soul refuses to be comforted. I moan. My spirit faints. I am so troubled that I cannot speak.
All of this anguish naturally leaves Asaph, the psalm’s author, with some haunting questions:
Will the LORD spurn forever? Will he 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?
Days of trouble come, in varying degrees, to all of us. Long, dark nights of the soul are eventually experienced by everyone. When they come, where do you turn? In what direction does your heart retreat in search of solid ground? On what, if anything, do you focus when you find yourself in the grip of doubt and despair?
Those are tough questions–real questions that Asaph doesn’t gloss over or ignore. But here’s what makes Psalm 77 so precious: Asaph also provides an answer.
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. (Psa 77:10-14)
The next time you experience a day of trouble or a night of weary restlessness, read Psalm 77. Follow Asaph’s lead.
Appeal to the years of the Most High who worked in the lives of men like Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph.
Ponder God’s work in the lives of women like Sarah, Jochebed, Deborah, Ruth, and Esther.
Meditate on his mighty deeds in the lives of Joshua, Caleb, Gideon, David, Nehemiah, and Daniel.
And remember. His right hand is still mighty. He is everlastingly faithful. His way continues to be holy.
Days of trouble come, in varying degrees, to all of us. When they come knocking on your door, turn off the TV, put down your smartphone, and open your Old Testament. The God of wonders continues to use those ancient accounts of deliverance, endurance, and victory to break the grip of doubt and despair in the lives of those who remember, meditate, and appeal … like Asaph taught us in Psalm 77.