“Will the Lord spurn forever, and never again be favorable? Has his steadfast love forever ceased? Are his promises at an end for all time? Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has he in anger shut up his compassion?” Then I said, “I will appeal to this, to the years of the right hand of the Most High.” I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your wonders of old. (Psalm 77:7–11)
In his distress, the psalmist had begun to question God.
His circumstances were causing him to think that perhaps God had stopped loving him. And unbelief would have taken root in him, except that the psalmist’s mind and heart were furnished with the biblical story—the story of God redeeming His people.
In his darkest moment, when he needed them most, the mighty acts of God as told by Scripture were there for him.
As the psalmist pondered all God had done for His people through the years, he began to praise the Lord for it:
“Your way, O God, is holy. What god is great like our God? You are the God who works wonders; you have made known your might among the peoples. You with your arm redeemed your people, the children of Jacob and Joseph.” (Psa. 77:13–15)
This shows us that God is a strong Redeemer whose Word can break through into any situation, no matter how dark, and turn it into a moment of profound worship.
The psalmist’s experience helps us to see two things in particular.
First, we need a daily intake of Scripture that spans the whole counsel of God’s Word. Don’t just glance at “the verse of the day” or cherrypick a few passages that make you feel better. Immerse your mind and heart in the entire story day in and day out.
Second, we see the necessity of gathering around God’s Word to worship with the church. James K.A. Smith says that we need to be “regularly immersed in the drama of God in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, which is precisely the point of [the church’s] worship—to invite us into that story over and over again…”
Through practices like these, the biblical story of redemption has a way of “getting inside us” to trigger new thought patterns.
The psalmist was able to reframe his outlook on his distressing situation because he had inhabited that story through contemplating, studying, and gathering to hear the Word. The same can be true for you. If you spend your life daily absorbing the Word and faithfully worshiping with God’s people each week, God’s story will be there for you when you need it most.
PRAYER AND REFLECTION
- Has there been a time recently where you questioned God’s love for you? Have you allowed unbelief to take root? To what truth from God’s Word do you need to return in order to battle that unbelief? Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to show you.
- In what ways have you seen practices like Bible reading and gathered worship make a difference for your daily life? Has God used it to change how you think and feel? Why or why not?
- What area of your life might God want to address as you gather with the church this week? Pray that God would help you to come ready to receive all He wants to say and do among His church. Pray that God would use Sunday’s gathered worship to make a difference in your life.
Set List for Sunday, June 02, 2019:
- Worthy Of Your Name (B. Brown, S. Curran, B. Younker)
- The Passion (B. Ligertwood, S. Ligertwood, S. Davenport)
- Before the Throne (C. Bancroft, V. Cook)
- Your Mercy (M. Dawes, A. Ivey, B. Land, J. McCreary)
- God I Look to You (J. Johnson)