Loudly, I cried to God. Loudly, I cried to God so that he would open his ears to ⌊hear⌋ me.
On the day I was in trouble, I went to the Lord for help. At night I stretched out my hands in prayer without growing tired. Yet, my soul refused to be comforted.
I sigh as I remember God. I begin to lose hope as I think about him. Selah
(You keep my eyelids open.) I am so upset that I cannot speak. [vss 1-4]
I have considered the days of old, the years long ago.I remember my song in the night and reflect ⌊on it⌋. My spirit searches ⌊for an answer⌋:
Will the Lord reject ⌊me⌋ for all time? Will he ever accept me? Has his mercy come to an end forever? Has his promise been canceled throughout every generation?
Has God forgotten to be merciful? Has he locked up his compassion because of his anger? Selah
Then I said, “It makes me feel sick that the power of the Most High is no longer the same.”
I will remember the deeds of the Lord. I will remember your ancient miracles. I will reflect on all your actions and think about what you have done. [vss 5-12]
O God, your ways are holy! What god is as great as our God?
You are the God who performs miracles. You have made your strength known among the nations.
With your might you have defended your people, the descendants of Jacob and Joseph. Selah
The water saw you, O God. The water saw you and shook. Even the depths of the sea trembled. The clouds poured out water. The sky thundered. Even your arrows flashed in every direction.
The sound of your thunder rumbled in the sky. Streaks of lightning lit up the world. The earth trembled and shook.
Your road went through the sea. Your path went through raging water, but your footprints could not be seen.
Like a shepherd, you led your people. You had Moses and Aaron take them by the hand. [vss 13-20]
For the choir director; according to Jeduthun; a psalm by Asaph. (Psalms 77:1-20 GW)
It's easy to blame God when things are not going well. We pray and it seems our prayers are going up into an empty sky. Questioning God when He seems far away is common and this psalm echoes that.
A great beauty of the psalms is the open, honest expression of prayer seen throughout the collection of 150 songs of prayer and praise. Sometimes the honesty is surprisingly raw, and it may make us feel uncomfortable when we read them.
When we gather with other believers, we usually put on a brave face and confident words to mask the fear, doubt, anguish, even anger churning within our hearts and minds.
Psalms such this one strips off all pretense and bravado. We into a believer's struggle of faith and how they process things in prayer with God.
The Lord desires this kind of honesty in us. We tend to focus on external events and temporary situations, while God is concerned with the internal and eternal. @@God is working in our lives to develop our faith, our trust in Him@@.
After the psalmist airs his struggle, he remembers the foundation and focus of his faith in God.
The first half of the psalm reminds us that we all struggle with our faith. @@Faith without struggle is a facade and won't sustain a person when life is hard@@.
Once the psalmist expresses his struggle to God, his focus of God clears. His own struggles created a fog that obscured his vision of the Lord. His openness with God dissipates his doubt and he sees God for who He is—the Almighty and gracious Shepherd.
Do you see God for who He is or do you get stuck looking at yourself and circumstances?
Would you like a free study guide for your study of Psalms?
I won't cover all 150 Psalms, but do selective devotionals through the rest of Psalms.
So if I skip one that you like... let me know and I'll try to cover it!