“In the day of trouble I seek the Lord; in the night my hand is stretched out without wearying; my soul refuses to be comforted” Psalms 77:2
How should we respond when our soul is being petty? By petty, I mean making a mountain out of a molehill. For example, the littlest incident can occur in my life and I began to doubt the nature of God. I began to question whether God has changed my calling or his will. The saddest part is that when these unforeseen events happen, my soul refuses comfort. It begins to be petty. In these moments my soul declines the offer of biblical truth. My sinful soul magnifies these situations and not the Lord. What should we do in situations like this?
In Psalm 77 the Psalmists is wrestling with his soul. His soul is refusing the comfort of God. His soul is being petty. His soul is questioning God’s nature and magnifying his current predicament .
His soul asks:
Will God’s punishment never stop? (v7)
Has the steadfast love of God stopped? (v8)
Are we beyond his promises? (v8)
Has God forgotten his grace? (v9)
Is he so mad that he stopped showing compassion? (v9)
These questions sprang up from the depth of his soul. The theme of these questions is has God’s nature changed. At first glance we can answer all those questions, but have you ever wrestled with the nature of God. Has a crisis ever brought out questions from your soul? Have you ever wondered what kind of God would allow this?
I had just come back from a two-month mission trip with the hopes of moving to seminary. The Lord had other plans. He prevented my departure through financial issues, transcript issues, and transportation issues. As a result, I ended up living in my hometown. I remember laying in my bed most nights questioning God.
-Why would you prevent me from learning more about you?
-What made you put me back here?
-Have you forgotten me?
I had theological truths to answer each question, but my petty soul refused to accept them. The Christian cliches were no help to me. I wanted my life to be the way I desired it because I believed I knew best. How should we handle situations in which our soul is petty?
The Psalmist in Psalm 77 gives us two answers.
v11 “I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes I will remember your wonders of old”
God commands us to remember Him. He tells Israel over and over to remember, “I am the God who brought you out of Eygpt”. We take communion because Jesus said to, “do this in remembrance of me”. We should heed these commands and remember. God didn’t bring plagues to release us from a wicked ruler. But He did pour out His wrath on Jesus so we might be set free from the evil master of sin. 2,000 years ago he became the priest and the sacrifice for the forgiveness of sin. He displayed His love while we were still enemies of God. Remember the work of salvation. When your soul is petty remind it of the Gospel.
v12 “I ponder all your work and meditate on your mighty deeds”
Ponder how God made the molecule and the mountain with the same power. Reflect on how Jesus’ work on the cross saved you 2,000 years later. Think about the plentiful grace of God and how no sin will ever disqualify you from receiving it. Then ponder how you ended up where you are now. How did you end up with your job? You could credit it to your education and experience, but someone else has more than you. What did God provide so you could move to where you are now? What events did He allow so that you might be more like him? How many unfortunate events did He not allow to happen to you?
After you have remembered and pondered the ways of God, pose a question to your petty soul:
“What god is great like our God?” (Psalms 77:13)