Read Psalm 77
For the director of music. For Jeduthun. Of Asaph. A psalm.
1 I cried out to God for help;
I cried out to God to hear me.
2 When I was in distress, I sought the Lord;
at night I stretched out untiring hands,
and I would not be comforted.
3 I remembered you, God, and I groaned;
I meditated, and my spirit grew faint.
4 You kept my eyes from closing;
I was too troubled to speak.
5 I thought about the former days,
the years of long ago;
6 I remembered my songs in the night.
My heart meditated and my spirit asked:
7 “Will the Lord reject forever?
Will he never show his favor again?
8 Has his unfailing love vanished forever?
Has his promise failed for all time?
9 Has God forgotten to be merciful?
Has he in anger withheld his compassion?”
10 Then I thought, “To this I will appeal:
the years when the Most High stretched out his right hand.
11 I will remember the deeds of the Lord;
yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
12 I will consider all your works
and meditate on all your mighty deeds.”
13 Your ways, God, are holy.
What god is as great as our God?
14 You are the God who performs miracles;
you display your power among the peoples.
15 With your mighty arm you redeemed your people,
the descendants of Jacob and Joseph.
16 The waters saw you, God,
the waters saw you and writhed;
the very depths were convulsed.
17 The clouds poured down water,
the heavens resounded with thunder;
your arrows flashed back and forth.
18 Your thunder was heard in the whirlwind,
your lightning lit up the world;
the earth trembled and quaked.
19 Your path led through the sea,
your way through the mighty waters,
though your footprints were not seen.
20 You led your people like a flock
by the hand of Moses and Aaron.
As we read through Psalm 77, do you see anything familiar? Perhaps you connect with verse 1- “I cried out to God for help.” Maybe the author’s insomnia and grief-stricken silence in verse 4 hits home? Whatever the case may be, most Christians have felt like the psalmist here at one point or another in our faith journey. We don’t always understand what God is doing and this can be frustrating, but what do we do in these situations?
Psalm 77 is written in such a beautiful style. There are multiple ways to break down the structure of it, but the most common has been to separate verse 1-9 and verses 10-20. We see in Psalm 77:1-3 a person who cries out to God, knowing that only in Him lie the answers. In Psalm 77:4-9 we see someone who is so grieved in their spirit that they can’t even sleep! The author asks questions some Christians wouldn’t dare utter, but now we can see God’s response.
Verse 10 serves as a hinge for this whole psalm. There are many different translations and interpretations of this verse, but the main point is this: This is where the author, having offered up his grief and questions to God and seeing the error of these questions, turns to remembering God’s faithful acts of years past. Instead of focusing on the struggle at hand, the author instead chooses to focus on what God has done for His people before, believing in faith He will deliver them again!
What does this mean for 21st century Christians like us? It serves as a great example to follow! What do we do when everything in our lives seems to be going wrong? We “reflect on all [God has] done, and meditate on [His] actions.” God doesn’t love you less because you struggle. In fact, God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to earth precisely because we humans struggle! He knows we need Him, so instead of holding that over our heads, He proactively stepped into history, did what we could not, and gave us the grace to be with Him! He did this all to be in relationship with us, His people, His Church. Go to God with your struggles, ask Him your questions, lay the darkest thoughts down before Him and allow the light of His love to illuminate them. Who knows, He might just surprise you.
- Reflect on your normal response to grief. Do you take it before God in prayer? Do you talk it over with your community?
- Reflect on what God has done in your life, and the lives of those you know. Where can you see the evidence of His goodness and love?
- What is one way that you can, today, implement what we’ve learned from Psalm 77? Do it!
Father God, we come before You in the name of Your Son, Jesus Christ. We have questions, but You are the Source of Truth. We ask that You open our minds to the things of You. Remind us of what You have done for us, of Your faithful love and mercy, and let that baptize our thinking. We pray that this leads to changed hearts, minds, and actions. In Christ’s name we pray, by the power of the Spirit, for the glory of the Father. Amen.
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5 thoughts on “Psalm 77”
We can be assured that our cries are heard by our faithful God, that our confidence can rest in him at all times. In crisis when we are driven by our emotions and feelings take over, truth grounds us:
*His favor rests on his people.
*His faithful love never ceases.
*All His promises, he will fulfill.
*He is gracious and full of compassion.
*He is great & holy.
*He works wonders, and displays his power.
*He redeems his people and leads his flock.
Today, I will remind my struggles WHO my God is and be encouraged!
After a night up with a teething baby, I connect with Asaph’s insomnia….everything seems worse at night. God seems silent & distant & our problems seem larger than they really are. When I can’t sleep & my thoughts run rampant, it’s all I can do to meditate on scripture or pray just to make it through the night. But, eventually, I fall back to sleep & I wake up the next morning… and in the light of the day, things don’t seem as bad. God feels closer. His mercies are truly new every morning. Whether we are struggling to make it through a literal night or just a dark night of the soul, may we remember God’s faithfulness to us in the past. May we cling to His promises. May we shine His light on our dark night & remember that even if it feels like it, we are not alone! God hasn’t failed us yet & He won’t start now.
I love this Psalm for it reminds me of all the undeserved grace and blessings God has given me and hopefully will in the future.
I ask God everyday …..please Lead me, Love me, and Forgive me. Amen
This psalm is a great example of expressing your doubts to God, I love how honest Asaph is.
“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?”
Makes me question, if God already knows my heart, why do I feel the need to present myself as better than I am to Him? It was then really encouraging to see the result of Asaph’s cries as God restored, renewed, and protected him.
This psalm is so extremely honest. I love that Asaph is able to ask hard questions and still recall God’s faithfulness at the same time. It gives us a biblical template to follow when we’re struggling.