Despairing and troubled?

When you awakened this morning, did the day seem heavy?  Did you awaken expecting the problems of yesterday to seem lighter and a resolution more likely only to feel as though the problem grew in dimension during the night, obscuring any possibility of hope?

Despair and discouragement are not unusual.

The psalmists felt those pains of life.  Listen, for instance to Asaph (Ps. 77):

In the night my hand was stretched out without weariness;
My soul refused to be comforted.
When I remember God, then I am disturbed;
When I sigh, then my spirit grows faint.
You have held my eyelids open;
I am so troubled that I cannot speak.(vv. 2-4)

Yet the psalmist does not stay in his miserable state.  In his discouragement, he asks a series of questions that reorient his heart to trust and confidence in God.

If you are discouraged, ask Asaph’s questions — reminding yourself of the goodness and sufficiency of God (vv. 7-9):

  • Will the Lord reject forever?
  • Will He never be favorable again?
  • Has His lovingkindness ceased forever?
  • Has His promise come to an end forever?
  • Has God forgotten to be gracious?
  • Has He in anger withdrawn His compassion?

The implied and expected answer to each of these questions is, “No!”  The Lord will not reject His own, He will be favorable, He will continue in His loyal love, He will maintain all His promises for all of eternity, He will always remember to be gracious, and He will never withhold His compassion.

With those things being true, Asaph then reminds himself (and us) to also meditate on these aspects of God (vv. 11-15), for our problem in our trouble is not so much the trouble itself, but the belief that the trouble is greater than God and His power:

  • I shall remember the deeds of the LORD.
  • I will remember Your wonders of old.
  • I will meditate on all Your work.
  • I will muse on Your deeds.
  • I will remember that Your way, O God, is holy.
  • I will ask, “What god is great like our God?”
  • I will contemplate You — the God who works wonders.
  • I will remember and know that You have made known Your strength among the peoples — even Your people, the sons of Jacob and Joseph.

It is not unusual or unexpected to experience trouble.  But in the day of trouble, we are wise when we remember that God is greater than our trouble.

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