A Meditation on Psalm 77
I’ve repeatedly come to Psalm 77 again and again in times of trouble. I love the psalmists because they are struggling with everything we face: anxiety, fear, anger, sorrow. The psalms cry out from our human experience of the world and all the trials within it. They wrestle with questions. Why do things go wrong? Why aren’t things the way we want them to be?
Psalm 77:1-3 starts out:
I cry aloud to God,
aloud to God, and he will hear me.
In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord;
in the night my hand is stretched out without wearying;
my soul refuses to be comforted.
When I remember God, I moan;
when I meditate, my spirit faints.
You hold my eyelids open;
I am so troubled I cannot speak.
Have you ever been there? Have you ever felt like there’s a wall between you and God. The psalmist knew all about that. He is fervently crying out to God, yet there is no peace.
When he thought of God and meditated on God, it bothered him. Every time he tries to think about God; he thinks about where he is, how he got there, where he wants to be.
I think a lot of us are there right now. We are bombarded by constant news, on t.v., on our phones, on facebook. It’s all over the place and it is overwhelming. I’m wrestling with questions like what will happen to my friends and family? When will I see them again? What if they get sick? How will we make it through this?
Look at what the psalmist does (77:4-12):
I consider the days of old,
the years long ago.
I said, “Let me remember my song in the night;
let me meditate in my heart.”
Then my spirit made a diligent search:
“Will the Lord spurn forever,and never again be favorable?
Has his steadfast love forever ceased?
Are his promises at an end for all time?
Has God forgotten to be gracious?
Has he in anger shut up his compassion?”
I will remember the deeds of the Lord;
yes, I will remember your wonders of old.
I will ponder all your work,
and meditate on your mighty deeds.
Do you see how the psalmist finds their way back to God? Hope, peace, and assurance is found through remembering and meditating. Meditation is simply the process of focusing and reflecting. When we meditate upon our circumstances, upon everything that seems to be going wrong, it generates despair and anger. When we meditate upon God’s character and His faithfulness throughout history it cultivates trust and hope.
The same mechanism, meditation, that brought discomfort, now brings assurance when the focus is on God’s goodness instead of present circumstances. See, you either reinforce what’s good and you grow or you reinforce what’s negative and you slide.
Here he says, “I remember my song in the night.” We have the kind of God who is there in the darkest of times. Like a mother soothing her child in the night, God is there with words of assurance.
When we face times of trial like this we can reflect upon God’s faithfulness throughout history. How he was with Joseph in the darkest of times. How we brought Israel out of the land of Egypt. How even when Jesus was hanging on the cross and it seemed like all hope was lost, God burst through and raised him from the grave. How in my own life God raised my soul from its lifeless state and made me alive with Christ!
As we do that, our circumstances are still their, but our perspective changes. There is still sorrow and trials. But we face them afresh with hope and assurance that God will bring about His life giving purpose through these circumstances. Meditate on that.
God Bless You,