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Psalms 77

I cried out to God with my voice— To God with my voice; And He gave ear to me. In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord; My hand was stretched out in the night without ceasing; My soul refused to be comforted. I remembered God, and was troubled; I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah  You hold my eyelids open; I am so troubled that I cannot speak. I have considered the days of old, The years of ancient times. I call to remembrance my song in the night; I meditate within my heart, And my spirit makes diligent search. Will the Lord cast off forever? And will He be favorable no more? Has His mercy ceased forever? Has His promise failed forevermore? Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has He in anger shut up His tender mercies? Selah  And I said, “This is my anguish; But I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High. I will remember the works of the Lord; Surely I will remember Your wonders of old. I will also meditate on all Your work, And talk of Your deeds. Your way, O God, is in the sanctuary; Who is so great a God as our God? You are the God who does wonders; You have declared Your strength among the peoples. You have with Your arm redeemed Your people, The sons of Jacob and Joseph. Selah  The waters saw You, O God; The waters saw You, they were afraid; The depths also trembled. The clouds poured out water; The skies sent out a sound; Your arrows also flashed about. The voice of Your thunder was in the whirlwind; The lightnings lit up the world; The earth trembled and shook. Your way was in the sea, Your path in the great waters, And Your footsteps were not known. You led Your people like a flock By the hand of Moses and Aaron.”  ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭77:1-20‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

God welcomes our doubt and our true feelings, but He does not want us to get stuck dwelling on them.  Openly bringing our questions and our prayers to God will always bring us back to praising Him for what He has done for us.  This Psalm from Asaph is a great example.  Asaph was in the midst of a time of extreme anguish, and He expressed his feelings and doubts openly with God.  He felt abandoned and doubted God’s care and concern for him because his prayers were not answered right away.  Then, he changed his mindset.  He began to “remember the deeds of the Lord” (verse 11).  This is such a crucial step to take in order to get past doubt.  Asaph stopped focusing on his problems and his uncertainties and started focusing on God’s greatness, His power and His strength.  If you look closely, you can see the dramatic shift that occurs as he continues in this Psalm.  In the first 12 verses, Asaph uses the word “I” 16 times.  In the last 8 verses, he uses the pronouns “You” or “Your” (referring to God) 16 times.

It is our natural human tendency to focus on ourselves, our feelings, and our problems.  But God has given us His Holy Spirit, so that we can overcome this tendency.  As believers in Christ, we have the great privilege to hear from God, feel His presence, receive His perfect wisdom, and be led by His guidance.  His will for us would never include dwelling on negative thoughts or emotions, because it leads to a lack of joy and peace.  Jesus tells us in John 14:27: “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”  Focusing on Him brings everything back to a godly perspective where we can trust in Him and His plans.  The apostle Paul wrote it this way: “And set your minds and keep them set on what is above (the higher things), not on the things that are on the earth” (Colossians 3:2), Amplified Bible).  The other important thing to remember is that every trial we endure is an opportunity to grow in spiritual maturity and is an opportunity to be more experienced at being able to minister to someone else going through a similar situation. 

When hard times lead you to doubt God’s love and promises, stop and remember what He has done for you in the past.  Stop and remember the power behind God’s Word.  Stop and remember that you have the Spirit of God residing within you always.  This is your proof that He is who He says He is, and that “…our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all” (2 Corinthians 4:17).

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