Bible Reading: Psalm 77
There is not a time when more people cry out to God than when trouble strikes. When things are going well, we are content to enjoy them, and occasionally, we pause to look up and tell God, “Thank you.” But when trouble strikes, we find ourselves looking to God more. Sadly, most of our looking to God is questioning Him. “Why did you let this happen, Lord?” “How long will you standby and watch this?” “God, where are you in this mess?” If this is true for you, as it is true for most of us Christians, then Psalm 77 has a lot to teach us.
Asaph captures a lot of our emotions and thoughts during times of trouble. Some of the questions Asaph asks are, “Has his steadfast love forever ceased?” and “Has God forgotten to be gracious?” We can relate to such questions, but it is where Asaph turns after asking them that is the most important. In verses 11-12, Asaph takes time to remember and ponder the mighty works God has done for His people. It is after remembering these things that Asaph writes, “Your way, O God, is holy. What god is great like our God?” When Asaph considers the holiness of God, and remembers His steadfast love, then he finds peace to face his troubles.
God is always involved with His people, and we are always in the palms of His hands. In a fallen world, troubles will come our way, but nothing can separate us from the love of God. God’s love and strength are always with us, even when we cannot see it. This wonderful thought is captured beautifully in 77:19, which says, “Your way was through the sea, your path through the great waters; yet your footprints were unseen.” Asaph is remembering the Exodus story of God parting the Red Sea. This was a time of great fear and trouble for God’s people, and God acted mightily on their behalf. God led them to safety and then into a land to call their home, yet there were no specific footprints for them to follow. God led them, but there were no trail markers. Just as His people had to walk by faith, so must Asaph do, and so must we.
Application: In John 16:33 Jesus said, “In the world you will have tribulation.” We will have troubles in this life. If that was where Jesus had ended His statement, it would have been true, but not very encouraging. Praise be to God that there is more to what Jesus was saying. The verse ends with Jesus saying, “But take heart; I have overcome the world.” It is unrealistic to ask for a life without troubles. In a world infected with sin, troubles will arise constantly. What is realistic is the hope and peace that is found in being a child of God. Just as He once parted the sea for His people to walk through, so God will lead you now. When troubles arise, and you feel fear and anxiety rising within your heart, remember the mighty things God has done. Let the history of God’s love and might comfort your heart. He will make you to overcome because He has already overcome the world.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we thank you and praise you for the mighty things you have done for your people. When troubles come my way, help me to remember your great strength. I know that you are holy, and that you are my God. My hope and my life are in your hands, and I know that I will never be moved. I love you. Amen.