Plea for Grace

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In Psalm 77, Asaph is in crisis. He is crying to God, trusting that God still hears him. He’s praying through the night, but still feeling weak and distressed. Peace just isn’t coming.

Peace used to come. What about this time? Have God’s promises come to an end? Has his faithful love ceased? Has God finally forgotten? (vv7-9)

Oh, the enemy storms in with lies just when we are weak. Asaph knows that. So, how does he fight the despair and the hopelessness?

He remembers.

He remembers God’s works.

He remembers his ancient wonders.

He remembers what God has done in the past.

He remembers God’s character.

He remembers.

One of Asaph’s specific “rememberings” was the account of God leading Moses and his people through the Red Sea, and through the wilderness. But Asaph lived hundreds and hundreds of years after these events! The only way he could know about God’s wonders in that time, was by knowing God’s Word, God’s Law. Asaph did not just rely on his personal experience. He devoted himself to knowing God through His Word, and then believing that God’s Word was true, despite the enemy’s lying attack (or his own personal doubts and despair).

Just as God does not change like shifting shadows (James 1), His Word also does not change. “Lord, your word is forever, it is firmly fixed in heaven.” (Psalm 119:89 CSB) Just as Asaph relied on God’s Word to “speak truth” and to encourage his soul in crisis, so can we.

But here’s the catch – I have got to be in the Word in order to remember in crisis. “If your instruction had not been my delight, I would have died in my affliction. I will never forget your precepts, for you have given me life through them.” (Psalm 119:92,93 CSB). The instruction had to already be his delight; he couldn’t ‘never forget’ something he had never learned . . .

I know that I sound like a broken record, but I cannot stress enough the necessity of being in God’s Word, of reading, meditating, (yes) memorizing, and actually doing what God says. The crisis will come; temptation will dangle in front of you; weakness will set in; despair will happen. We live in a broken world. But God has not abandoned us here to fend for ourselves. He has mercifully given us His Word, and His Holy Spirit to “. . .remind you of everything I [Jesus] have told you . . .” (from John 14:26 CSB)

It’s just much tougher to remind someone of something they have never learned . . .just sayin’ . . .

Psalm 13:1-6 CSB – 1 How long, LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? 2 How long will I store up anxious concerns within me, agony in my mind every day? How long will my enemy dominate me? 3 Consider me and answer, LORD my God. Restore brightness to my eyes; otherwise, I will sleep in death. 4 My enemy will say, “I have triumphed over him,” and my foes will rejoice because I am shaken. 5 But I have trusted in your faithful love; my heart will rejoice in your deliverance. 6 I will sing to the LORD because he has treated me generously.

David is hard-pressed. He is smack-dab in the middle of tough circumstances. His reputation is at stake. He doesn’t see a way out. He cries out to God, but only hears silence.

“God, please, I just want a good day. I just need some hope. I’m not even asking for deliverance; just a dose of hope so I can proclaim that Your word is true, and that You are faithful.” Did you notice that David did not ask to be delivered from his circumstances? He asked for hope; he asked that he would not give his enemies cause to think that they had ‘won’ or that God was irrelevant.

And then the statement that declares that God has given him hope . . .

I have trusted in your faithful love — past tense, already settled

my heart will rejoice in your deliverance — looking with hope (expected certainty) to the future; even if physical deliverance does not come in this life, life eternal with God is a certainty

I will sing to the Lord because He has treated me generously — because of hope I can praise. Even when life is hard; even when God seems silent (though because of hope I know He is never ‘not there’); I am His child and he has (and will never stop) treated me generously

“You’re not necessarily grateful for the circumstance you’re in, but you’re grateful for the God who helps you get through that circumstance. You’re grateful for the God who gives you joy. — Elisabeth Elliot

How can I not have joy and gratitude! God is Immanuel (God with us); I am his child; He is sovereign.


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