Remembering His Faithfulness
Today’s Reading: Psalm 77 (SOAP: 77:10-11)
Then I said, “I am sickened by the thought
that the Most High might become inactive.
I will remember the works of the Lord.
Yes, I will remember the amazing things you did long ago.Psalm 77:10-11 NET
I love the heading for this Psalm in the Holman Christian Standard Bible, “Confidence in a Time of Crisis”. It is certainly fitting from start to finish of this Psalm of ‘lament’ by Asaph and I think an equally fitting way to start this study on “Trusting God in the Midst of Suffering” (by LGG).
Suffering is part of the believer’s life and to survive it we must learn how to deal with it in a godly way. While we most often learn best from experience it is beneficial and God’s plan according to (2 Timothy 3:16-17 to learn from the examples in His Word. Today’s reading provides one such example. Let’s take a look.
Asaph’s lament begins in verse 1 with no clear reason what prompted it but clearly he is facing a crisis of some kind. Notice though from the get-go, even in the throes of the crisis his faith is active. He didn’t run from or turn from God but ran to Him and was resolved to cry out to Him in prayer and thought and faith.
From Lament to a Song of God’s Extraordinary Deeds
However, don’t miss that the longer Asaph cried out with the problem that was causing him to “groan”, the more panic and heartache seemed to rise within him. In turn these created the threat of doubt and the fear that God would cease to be active in his life. This is where we find him in our focus/soap passage today. He couldn’t bare to think that God would become “inactive”, to the point that it “sickened” him. Yet, this is the very thing that turned his lament into a new song of God’s goodness and activity in times past. Asaph resolved to recall God’s greatness and power over all things. With this resolve, Asaph’s cry changed from “I will” to “O God, Your deeds are extraordinary … You are the God who does amazing things! You have revealed Your strength … You delivered Your people … You walked through the sea; You passed through the surging waves … You led Your people like a flock of sheep …”
It’s important as we move forward in “Trusting God in the Midst of Suffering” to notice the change came with Asaph’s resolve to remember and what he chose to remember. He made the choice to fix his mind – not on the ‘crisis’ or the rising doubt and fears but rather on “the works of the LORD …” and this seemed to change everything – well, perhaps not the ‘crisis’ (Scripture doesn’t make this clear) – but certainly his reaction to the ‘crisis’ changed. Perhaps this is an example of why Paul taught the Philippians to fix their thoughts on things that are excellent and worthy of praise, Phil 4:8.
What this mean for us: The Application
I believe this is where we find our application today, choosing to fix our mind on the things of God and not the things of the world that make us anxious and problem centered rather than God centered. This is not to mean that we can’t pray or cry out to God in lament. Actually, looking again to Paul’s teaching in Philippians 4:6-7, we see that when he warns the believers not to be anxious about anything he also says, “instead, pray about everything and thank God for what He has already done.” He says that when they do this they will experience the peace of God which exceeds anything they can understand. I can tell you from experience – when you apply the power of truth that is in these verses to your life it changes everything.
What’s Your Plan?
What is the resolve of your life? What will you do when the crisis comes? Clearly Scripture teaches us to have a plan that is rooted in God (Father, Son, and Spirit) and in His Word. Here are some helpful tips …
- Know Him – this comes from prayer and staying in His Word daily
- Don’t trust, lean on, or stay in your own emotions but trust in the Lord (Proverbs 3:5-6)
- Sing of His goodness (what we listen to guides our thoughts)
- Write down what He’s done (have journal or use your phone at the end of each day to write down 1-3 things that you saw Him do or remember He has done in the past … something as simple as a much needed parking space to His amazing gift of salvation, acts of grace or mercy, His forgiveness for the unspeakable things of your life, His love despite those unspeakable things, His Spirit’s power in You, your hope of eternity, and any number of amazing deeds you have witnessed from Him)
Father, help us to turn our laments into songs of joyful praise. How often have I lamented before You – crying out for You to hear, waiting on You to answer, trusting You to not forget or become inactive. Like Asaph I have found myself clinging to You through the waves and heard You whisper – “Be still and know that I am God”. How many times You have used the words of Paul to cause me to choose to recall Your goodness, grace, and mercy and to resolve to fix my thoughts on things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Thank you for the history of Your goodness and the evidence of Your love and the faith on which I stand. In Jesus’ Name – Amen!
Love God Greatly
If you would like more thoughts on today’s reading please click the link for today’s blog post from the LGG Team.https://lovegodgreatly.com/lgg-blog/