Psalm 77

If you have ever taken time to reflect on the past you know that your memories have two sides. One side is positive and encouraging while the other is negative and discouraging. For example, when one looks back at childhood there can often been many great memories of vacations or the fun had as a child, but then there are the memories of presents not received, broken bones from careless accidents, maybe even punishments for wrong actions. Memories of teenage years are often filled with the joys of time with friends or maybe even fun activities at school whether part of a team or band or some other extracurricular activity. However, memories of teenage years are often filled with regrets of mistakes made by poor decision making. As we move to adulthood the theme continues–good memories and bad memories together. Married couples remember both the joy of being newlyweds but also the difficulties of learning to live life together. Sometimes memories involve the joy of getting a new job but then the disappointment of the job not received. Looking back truly has two sides. Some people spend their lives remembering the good and are joyful, others concentrate on the bad and are miserable. The same can be said about looking back spiritually in life. In Psalm 77, Asaph is experiencing a difficult time. He is looking for relief as he cries out to God. In verse 1 he even declares that God will hear him and in verse 2 states that he is reaching out to God without wearying. However, at the end of verse 2 Asaph declares, “my soul refuses to be comforted.” Unfortunately, the reality even for many Christians is they refuse to be comforted by God. They choose to dwell on the negative. Asaph describes how when he looks back at history and how God worked mightily in the past that instead of finding comfort he finds the opposite. Verse 3 says, “When I remember God, I moan; when I meditate, my spirit faints.” The reason? Asaph in this moment consider what God has done in the past and thinks that God has forgotten him in the present. What Asaph most likely forgot to do momentarily is to consider how God’s mighty acts of the past often happened when the people of God found themselves in a difficult place. When the people appeared most hopeless, God acted. If he had remembered both sides from the beginning he might not have been so overwhelmed with his present situation thinking God had abandoned him. Maybe he would how thought, “I right where I need to be for God to act.” Thankfully though, Asaph continued to look to God and remember all the mighty deeds that God had done so that he found strength in the present. He declared in verses 11 and 12, “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.” He ended up choosing to look fully and what God had done and find hope. As you consider this Psalm remember you have two choices–you can look to who God is and what he has done in the past and draw strength knowing God will deliver you or you can choose to think that God has abandoned you. The best choice anyone can make is to remember who God is and what he has done and draw strength. If you do, God will be there for you. You might even get to the place like the children of Israel did when they thought there was no hope. Fleeing from the Egyptian army they found themselves trapped, the army closing in behind them and impassable water in front of them. Yet what they discovered by the hand of God as Asaph declared in verse 19, “Your way was through the sea, your path through the great waters; yet your footprint was unseen.” They discovered that not only can God deliver but that he can deliver in remarkable ways. Choose today to remember God’s mighty deeds and draw strength in your time of need. If things are difficult right now, maybe you are in the perfect place for God to act.

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