BEAUTY FOR ASHES

Sunday, 9 August 2020 Psalm 77



"But then I recall all you have done, O LORD; I remember your wonderful deeds of long ago." -Psalm 77: 11 [NLT]


The Psalm though an expression of distress when it starts ends with a note of calm trust in God. Deep troubles in the life of a believer are times of night prayers, and sleepless nights in the presence of the Lord. But many nights pass by without any answer or move from heaven—times when you feel the sky has turned brass and is impenetrable. The Psalmist too was in unexplainable agony and ceaseless prayerful nights. When I was in deep trouble, I searched for the Lord, all night long I prayed, with hands lifted towards heaven, but my soul was not comforted. (Psalm 77:2 NLT)


The second part of the Psalm starts with V.11, where the scene changes. The Psalmist, gets a sudden realization of God and His works through the history of His people. This recalling into mind, of the ways God had worked earlier, gives him hope in the midst of a desperate situation. The principle here is that, in times of trouble and agony, we need to look to the Lord's word for comfort and His word is full of such supernatural deliverances. This really works the required hope and faith within us to face the situation. The way we look at the situation changes, even though the situation itself remains without any change. But the attitude changes and hence we start depending on faith in God, which in turn will bring us to ultimate victory over the situation. A few days before we had meditated about Jonah, and how he found favour from God from the belly of a fish. In his distress he called out to the Lord and He delivered Jonah! So whatever situation and desperation we might be in, God works His way through it; till we come out of the troubles.


Many people when confronted with challenging situations turn negative in their approach and start complaining about the situation, people and ultimately God himself. He is prompted by the devil to look to the dust. This sets in a murmuring attitude towards God and all that He does. Finally the person is unable to believe in anything good at all. He wanders in loneliness and carries immense sorrow in his or her heart. This makes the person vulnerable to the attack of the devil. These dark forces attack with thoughts of defeat and hopelessness. Eventually the person gradually turns away from God and His word and turns inwards with self-pity thus surrounding himself with darkness.


Instead of such a negative attitude, we need to turn to God and start meditating on His wondrous works in the history and even in our own lives. This will set in us the right mood and attitude towards recovery and restoration by God. No situation is outside God's control. So we can trust God to save us from that trouble, which we ourselves are unable to overcome. Psalm 138:7 says: “Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life. You stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes; with your right hand you save me.” So if you are someone going through similar situations, today's word says -Cheer up! Look to God, He will bring you through this troubled waters to the shore of safety.


Promise of the day: "To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness,, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for his own glory." (Isaiah 61:3 NLT)

Good Shepherd Ministry International