Thursday, April 10, 2014
Today’s Topic: Ask It!
Today’s Text: Psalm 77:2 (ESV) In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord;
When it comes to finding something that has been misplaced, I am the worst! What’s really upsetting is that I am usually the one who misplaced it. You’d think I’d be able to remember where I put it, but I waste a lot of time looking in all the wrong places.
When we are searching for something we must look in a lot of places where it isn’t before we find the place that it is. Sometimes we are fortunate and find it quickly. Other times we search for days. In the midst of the physical search we are also doing a mental search of all the possibilities. We ask ourselves all kinds of questions about what we were doing, where we went, and so on. That is all part of the process of reaching a solution.
I think the same thing is true about our search for the peace of God when we are in trouble or when we are hurting. There is a process that is affirmed in Scripture, and maybe if we accepted the fact that God understands the process we could unload a lot of guilt from our hearts.
I find the process illustrated in the life of Asaph, who wrote the seventy-seventh Psalm. Read these verses carefully. (This is your chance to meditate on God’s Word and let the Holy Spirit teach you, not me.)
Psalm 77:1-15 (ESV)
1 I cry aloud to God, aloud to God, and he will hear me. 2 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. 3 When I remember God, I moan; when I meditate, my spirit faints. Selah 4 You hold my eyelids open; I am so troubled that I cannot speak. 5 I consider the days of old, the years long ago. 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?” Selah 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. Selah
Now, check out verses seven through nine. Asaph has just stated that his spirit is making a diligent search to find comfort in the time of trouble. His search begins with questions:
- Has God stopped being good?
- Has God stopped loving me?
- Are God’s promises no longer valid for me?
- Do I now have to earn everything from God because He forgot His grace?
- Doesn’t He care about me any more?
Most of us would beat ourselves up over asking such questions. Maybe our well-intentioned Christian friends would advise us to repent of such questions because they show a lack of faith. We certainly feel guilty for even starting down the road of doubt. But look at the process through which Asaph goes. After asking the questions, he indicates he took a break to meditate and contemplate what God would say in response. That’s what Selah means. As his mind gets clarity, he identifies where God wants him to find the answers to his questions. He will appeal to the previous faithfulness of God and his work.
- God’s right hand has never failed to uphold me.
- His mighty deeds are consistent throughout history and testify to his faithfulness.
- The path God has chosen for me is in perfect harmony with His holy nature.
- What other option do we have that can give such hope and security as our great God?
- I am one of your redeemed people. You bought me with the price of your Son’s life. I am a child of God.
And Asaph rested! Selah.
Go ahead. Ask your questions. But after asking them, take a break and listen for God’s response. You will find the hope and peace for which you are searching.