Any of my long-time readers already know that I have a bit of an obsession with the book of Psalms, so you shouldn’t be too surprised to see another blog series centered around Psalms. I’ve written before about how the book has had a huge impact on me spiritually and mentally.
As I’ve been studying Psalms recently, I began to notice a pattern that I hadn’t really noticed before… I find it absolutely fascinating when that happens. Words I’ve read time and time again suddenly become brand new. I guess that’s why they call the Bible the living Word of God.
The pattern I took note of was simple. It wasn’t hidden behind cultural imagery or unfamiliar hebrew poetic practices. I simply recognized the persistent use of a single word.
Specifically, the idea of remembering the faithfulness of God. Other similar words are used in this context in the place of the word remember, including ponder, meditate, recount, remind, and proclaim.
This repetition helped me grasp a simple truth more tightly. There is significance in remembering how God has worked in our own lives and in the lives of others.
There are two specific instances of this in Psalms that I wanted to write about. I was going to make them a single post but I decided this topic was important enough to be a two-part post. It’s my heart for you to see and grasp these truths that God has been teaching me about the importance of choosing to remember His goodness.
Asaph remembering God’s past faithfulness in Psalm 77
I don’t know exactly what was going through Asaph’s mind when he penned Psalm 77. What I do know is that Asaph’s heart was in a place where he said “my soul refuses to be comforted” (vs. 2). I see myself within these words… I have been where Asaph had been. Which is why I resonate so greatly with the barrage of questions that comes next.
6 I said, “Let me remember my song in the night;
let me meditate in my heart.”
Then my spirit made a diligent search:
7 “Will the Lord spurn forever,
and never again be favorable?
8 Has his steadfast love forever ceased?
Are his promises at an end for all time?
9 Has God forgotten to be gracious?
Has he in anger shut up his compassion?”
At first glance, these questions directed toward God seem to be sacrilegious blasphemy. But, If you look closely at the text, I think it’s clear that these questions came from a sincere heart that was seeking for truth. Verse 6 makes it clear that Asaph genuinely and diligently sought the Lord and the truth.
Spiritual doubt in the face of sorrow is not at all uncommon. Psalm 77 is a beautiful picture of how to handle those doubts with grace.
I believe that my God is big enough to handle doubt in the face of sorrow. I believe the Word of God will hold up to my questioning and scrutiny. I believe there is grace for the souls who diligently search for the truth, just like Asaph did. Which is why what Asaph did next is so incredibly important.
10 Then I said, “I will appeal to this,
to the years of the right hand of the Most High.”
11 I will remember the deeds of the Lord;
yes, I will remember your wonders of old.
12 I will ponder all your work,
and meditate on your mighty deeds.
13 Your way, O God, is holy.
What god is great like our God?
14 You are the God who works wonders;
you have made known your might among the peoples.
15 You with your arm redeemed your people,
the children of Jacob and Joseph.
Asaph has now completely shifted his focus from his own doubts to God’s goodness. He meditates on the faithfulness of God to the people of Israel, recounting the works of the Lord to generations before him.
Asaph sought the Lord and found Him by remembering God’s “wonders of old”.
God is not scared of your doubt, friend. Take your questions to Him, I promise he can handle them. But don’t stop there.
Follow the example of Asaph and remember. Remember the works of God in the past. Remember the miracles God performed throughout the old and new testament. Remember how God has sustained our brothers and sisters in ministry before us. Read and meditate on His goodness.
If you need ideas or a place to start reading, comment below or message me! I would love to help you remember what God has done in the past.
My next blog post will be about meditating on the works of God in our own present lives and how David sets an example for us of proclamation and praise. Make sure you come back!