REMEMBERING the ‘FAITHFULNESS of GOD’ during our ‘TROUBLES’: I remembered God, and was troubled; I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. 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?" (Psalms 77:3, 10-13)
Psalm 77 gives us the view of inward trouble and reflection of a troubled believer. Asaph speaks on behalf of the nation of Israel, and so this psalm can be called a ‘national lament psalm’.
First, Asaph pours out his grief to God as he finds himself in the anomalous situation where thoughts of God cause him to moan instead of rejoice. He is plagued by doubts that find expression in five unbelieving questions (vv. 7-9) that suggest that perhaps God is finished with him for good, that if God has ceased to love him, that if God has scrapped His promises towards him, that perhaps God has forgotten to be gracious to him, and if God’s anger has cut off the flow of His compassion towards him. Asaph believes that all his grief can be traced to a change in God’s attitude toward him!
But in verse 11 there is a spiritual turning point in Asaph’s life. Asaph now turns his eyes heaven-ward and determines to reflect on God’s past interventions for His people when they were in tight spots. Asaph made a conscious decision to turn from his pain and focus his thoughts on the person, works, and wonders of God. His first focus is on the incomparability of God. Who is so great a God as our God? With this question Asaph reminds himself that God cannot be compared to anything else. This great God had demonstrated His power in a variety of ways, but especially in the redemption of Israel from Egypt!
Asaph meditates on Israel’s exodus from Egypt and remembers that God had kept His people waiting by the Red Sea until their deliverance came in the night just in the nick of time. God had showed His power and humiliated the enemy. By remembering God’s great acts in the past, Asaph builds confidence in the present and for the future. He resolutely refuses to allow present troubles to erase the reality of God’s grace in the past. The six troubling questions about God’s watchful care are answered by Asaph himself by remembering that God has faithfully guided Israel through troublesome times before (vv. 15, 20).
Difficulties in our lives will always give us the opportunity to experience the faithfulness of God in our lives. God’s way is both holy (v. 13) and hidden (v. 19). We may not understand it but we need to just follow His footsteps as He leads us. Like Asaph, when we are in distress and feel that God no longer care about us, let us make a conscious effort to remember the faithfulness of God. This will renew our hope and trust in God who will eventually bring us to rich fulfillment!