I cried out to God with my voice – to God with my voice; and He gave ear to me. In the day of my trouble, I sought the Lord; my hand was stretched out in the night without ceasing; my soul refused to be comforted. I remembered God, and was troubled; I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed.
You hold my eyelids open; I am so troubled that I cannot speak. I have considered the days of old, the years of ancient times. I call to remembrance my song in the night; I meditate within my heart, and my spirit makes diligent search. Will the Lord cast off forever? And will He be favorable no more? Has His mercy ceased forever? Has His promise failed forevermore? Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has He in anger shut up His tender mercies?
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? You are the God who does wonders; You have declared Your strength among the peoples. You have with Your arm redeemed Your people, the sons of Jacob and Joseph.
The waters saw You, O God; the waters saw You, they were afraid; the depths also trembled. The clouds poured out water; the skies sent out a sound; Your arrows also flashed about. The voice of Your thunder was in the whirlwind; the lightning’s lit up the world; the earth trembled and shook. Your way was in the sea, Your path in the great waters, and Your footsteps were not known. You led Your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron. (Psalm 77; To the Chief Musician. To Jeduthun. A Psalm of Asaph.)
I Remembered God And Was Troubled
Life is filled with troubles that often seem to overwhelm. It is not uncharacteristic for people of God to be troubled by the calamities that try the soul as in the story of Job. These faith-building experiences temper the steel of one’s resolve to look more closely to the Father in heaven. Asaph was not a stranger to the heartaches of life. Whatever misfortune he was living through was so difficult he could find no rest in sleep. It was a long night with no answers. Pleading to the Lord would find comfort but only after a difficult road of measuring faith against the harshness of his troubles.
The psalmist could not sleep. Troubles overwhelmed him all through the night. He pondered the memories of his past seeking refuge in the knowledge of the protecting hand of the Lord. His trial causes him to question if the Lord will deliver him. Was the trouble from others or was it something he brought upon himself? He worries that God will cast him off forever and show no mercy upon his plight. The affliction of his soul is rooted in the knowledge of how severe the judgment hand of God is upon unrighteousness. Can it be that God is so angry with Asaph there is no more mercy? His heart is troubled. He is vexed sorely.
Asaph was a man of experienced faith. Facing the darkest hour of his trial and feeling abandoned, the psalmist knew the joy of God’s eternal mercy and grace. Whatever he was burdened by, the man of God remembered the love of the Lord in his life. Through the years, the Lord had never forsaken him. The works of God were profoundly impressed on his mind. Asaph secured his life on the word of God finding the answers to hope within its pages. Worship was key to his deliverance. He would not abandon the Lord because the Lord had never abandoned him. His ending was abrupt but the point had been made in this powerful psalm. Facing deep troubles, Asaph found courage in remembering everything about God. He remembered God’s love, mercy, grace, power and love. That is all he needed to sustain him.
All of us face trials and troubles in life. There are days that overwhelm. Everything seems to be crashing down around us and upon us. There is little joy. We may even question where God is when these days come. Asaph reminds us to remember the Lord. Take time to remember that God will never forsake us or leave us – He will never abandon us. The trials may be part of our character building to give us deeper faith and hope. Like fire tempering metal, our lives need those difficult days to remind us to remember the Lord. He has not changed and will always deliver us from the furnace of trial. Remember! Evoke the power of God in your mind to know He will never allow His children to be tempted beyond what we can endure. He will never allow this. Remember that!
Everyone knows how to be resigned amid the joys and happiness of prosperity, but to be so amid storms and tempests is peculiar to the children of God. (Francis of Sales; 1567-1622, Consoling Thoughts of, ed. Huguet)