“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…” Psalms 77:1-10a (NKJV)
The words you have just read were written by the Psalmist Asaph, as he earnestly cried out into the night from his troubled spirit. He was searching his soul for an answer to his distress. His soul was disquieted within him. He was confused. He was perplexed with many a question. There was no reason for him to praise. He seemed to be abandoned by the Lord. At least, it felt that way. All these feelings and all this anguish, left the Psalmist feeling just a little overwhelmed. Frustrated perhaps. With lots of questions on his mind, he wondered if…..?
What is your anguish?
Every human being with a heart and soul understands anguish. We all have been (or are currently) overwhelmed with feelings of anguish. It is something that we all tend to go through during various seasons of life.
Anguish come at times when life is just tough! Situations and circumstances are too much. Family is fractured. Relationships are tested. Kids are beyond rebellious and out of control. Health is diminishing. Jobs are lost. Money is tight. You aren’t sure what to do!
With the anguish comes feelings of fear and frustration. Crying and confusion. Uncertainty and unanswered questions. Perplexity and pain. Anger and abandonment. Helplessness and hopelessness. We want to know for sure that those feelings that we are experiencing in this moment of anguish are not settling into our being forever. We need to know that these feelings of anguish will someday go away.
Yet, we wonder what to do?
The Psalmist gives us a great answer. A lesson for us all to learn.
In his anguish, he cried out to God. While he did not understand all these feelings of anguish, he knew someone who would understand. The Psalmist put a voice to those feelings. In the first ten verses of the seventy-seventh Psalm, Asaph shares his feelings. He asks the tough questions. He seeks a reason for all the distress. He cries out to His God. God is listening to that cry of His beloved one.
And yet, dear reader, please do not miss the next four words that the Psalmist utters in verse ten. Those four words are so precious!
“But, I will remember…”
As Asaph, the Psalmist, cried out to God – he was able to put aside, if even for a moment, his heart of anguish and pain, and he began to remember.
Here is what the Psalmist said in verses 10-15 of Psalms 77. Let these words encourage your own heart and soul.
“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. Selah.”
Ah, sometimes in the midst of our own personal anguish, we need to just sit and soak in the comfort that only comes from our God. We need to meditate upon His works and miracles of our past. We need to recall how He has gently delivered us in the past. We need to ask our questions, then silently await His answers. We need to quietly and humbly abide in the presence of our God. For in that presence, we will soon realize that our God is so much bigger than any anguish we hold within our heart. He is strong enough to bear the burden of our anguish. In fact, He wants to completely take it away. He can do that with the power of His almighty right hand. God, the Sovereign One, comes to redeem! He desires to deliver us from our anguish!
Our anguish can turn to crying. Our cries to the Almighty God are heard.
Our crying can turn to remembering. Our remembering enables us to recall to our minds what God has already done for us.
Our remembering turns to praise. Our praise is humbly lifted up to the God who does wonders.
“Who is so great a God as our God?” ~ the Psalmist Asaph