Friday, February 23, 2024

Lament for the Day of Trouble – Psalm 77

Friday, February 23, 2024 

Lament for the Day of Trouble – Psalm 77 Submitted by Kay Crumley

Lament is a passionate expression of grief or sorrow. Where or to whom do you go in time of grief, sorrow, or trouble? As a child my go-to person was my dad. My go-to place was out in the pasture with the animals. I was confident that my dad could make whatever was wrong better. The fact that he would hold me securely in his arms was comforting and reassuring. Being out in nature with no distractions from people was peaceful to me. I could focus on the beauty of the trees and consolation of the animals so that I was able to calm my anxieties. That was my childhood reaction to trouble, sorrow, or grief. I could express my emotions without anyone judging or attempting to redirect my feelings. Laments can be emotionally all-consuming causing one to not think about clearly. Therefore, it is critical that we go to the person who can truly be our help in time of trouble. The author of this Psalm went to the Lord. 

1I cried out to God for help. 
    I cried out to God to hear me. 
2 When I was in trouble, I looked to the Lord for help. 
    During the night I lifted up my hands in prayer. 
    But I refused to be comforted. 

3 God, I remembered you, and I groaned. 
    I thought about you, and I became weak. 

When we cry out to God for help, we can be confident that He hears our cries of distress. I was reminded of the challenge that Elijah made to the prophets of Baal in 1 Kings 18. He faced off against 450 prophets of Baal against just himself and God. The prophets had shouted and cried to Baal all morning when Elijah asked this question of the in vs 27. 27 At noon Elijah began to taunt them. “Shout louder!” he said. “Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened.” We never have to doubt that Our God hears our every whisper, He knows our every thought. There are many verses that give us that assurance, one example is Psalm 34:17 When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. In our times of troubles, we too can look to Him for help as we pray to Him. However, we can refuse to accept His comfort. This passage shows that we must accept His loving kindness toward us. We must be reminded of what He has done for us in the past. The author remembered His miracles of long ago and the power He showed His people. I am not a lover of history, but we must all be scholars of the Word of God because it shows us of the times God was merciful and redeemed His people. These reminders help us grow in our faith and trust in Him. Each time He provides answers to our prayers, our faith grows and matures. It can be helpful to write in a journal the prayers you have offered to Him then note the way that prayer was answered. The answer may not be anything like the expectation you had but it did provide a way for you to have peace and take the next step in your spiritual growth. 

After the author got his thinking cap on and jogged his memory of the many things God had done for His people, he had a new attitude and awareness of the Majesty of our God. 

13 Your ways, God, are holy. 
    What god is as great as our God? 
14 You are the God who performs miracles; 
    you display your power among the peoples. 
15 With your mighty arm you redeemed your people, 
    the descendants of Jacob and Joseph. 

No other god is like our God. While most of us do not have physical idols that we worship, we do sometimes put other things before Him. If only I could have enough … money, fame, prestige, status, followers…  But the truth is none of those will take the place of God’s grace and mercy on our lives. We must join the Psalmist in declaring the how great is our God, His miracles and power never end. He is our redeemer and sustainer. He sent His one and only Son, Jesus Christ, to be the final answer to our salvation. No other sacrifice is needed because of the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 


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