Wednesday, July 27, 2016

A Need For Fellowship

Psalm 77:1-20

To the chief Musician, to Jeduthun, A Psalm of Asaph.

“I cried unto God with my voice, even unto God with my voice; and he gave ear unto me.  In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord: my sore ran in the night, and ceased not: my soul refused to be comforted.  I remembered God, and was troubled: I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah.  Thou holdest mine eyes waking: I am so troubled that I cannot speak.” (Psalm 77:1-4)

Job 5:7 tells us, “…man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward.”  Trouble is a natural part of life and we deal with problems every day.  Sometimes we feel like we are drowning in our trouble, and the psalmist was no different than the rest of us.   He had reached the point of blaming God for letting him suffer so much and nothing seemed to offer any relief.  Fortunately, God hears us no matter how large or urgent our problems may be or how overwhelmed we feel, but relief doesn’t always come right away.  He describes some of what he went through seeking relief.

“I have considered the days of old, the years of ancient times.  I call to remembrance my song in the night: I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search.  Will the Lord cast off for ever? and will he be favourable no more?  Is his mercy clean gone for ever? doth his promise fail for evermore?  Hath God forgotten to be gracious? hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies? Selah.” (Psalm 77:5-9)

He looked back at how God had blessed in the past and remembered how he had rejoiced in things God had done for him, searching his memory for things he had forgotten.  He remembered that God has promised never to forget his children and will not break his promise.  He reminded himself that there is nothing we can do to destroy his love for us. 

“And I said, This is my infirmity: 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 thy wonders of old.  I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings.” (Psalm 77:10-12)

He finally realized the problem was his own lack of faith, not a failure on God’s part.  He was determined to keep thinking about what God had done, for himself and for Israel.  H committed to thinking about the things God had done and would do and talking about those things.   
“Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary: who is so great a God as our God?  Thou art the God that doest wonders: thou hast declared thy strength among the people.  Thou hast with thine arm redeemed thy people, the sons of Jacob and Joseph. Selah.” (Psalm 77:13-15)

One of the most valuable things we can do when we are discouraged is to go to church, even though it seems our natural tendency is to pull away.  Hebrews 10:23-25 advises, “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”   If the church is what it should be, there will be a focus on what God has done both in the past in the people’s lives.  There will be encouragement to serve God and not give up.  There will be others to help us, but if we don’t go we don’t get that encouragement. 

When he went to the sanctuary, he was reminded of all the things God does.  He saw the people showing how God had worked among them, saving them from problem after problem.  It was God, not their own effort that redeemed  them and made the difference.

“The waters saw thee, O God, the waters saw thee; they were afraid: the depths also were troubled.  The clouds poured out water: the skies sent out a sound: thine arrows also went abroad.  The voice of thy thunder was in the heaven: the lightnings lightened the world: the earth trembled and shook.  Thy way is in the sea, and thy path in the great waters, and thy footsteps are not known.  Thou leddest thy people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.” (Psalm 77:16-20)

When he went he was reminded that God worked in nature, not just in the human realm.  He controls the weather, the ocean and everything on earth, and his ways are higher than ours so that we can’t always figure out what he is doing.  He uses ordinary people like Moses or Aaron to accomplish things we cannot understand.  

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