Manic Monday?

The Explore Team | 23 Feb 2015

Intense, prolonged suffering can cause the strongest believer to question God's love for him or her. In the face of personal trial, even psalm-writing Asaph wondered whether God had abandoned him for ever.

1 I cried out to God for help;
I cried out to God to hear me.
2 When I was in distress, I sought the Lord;
at night I stretched out untiring hands,
and I would not be comforted.
3 I remembered you, God, and I groaned;
I meditated, and my spirit grew faint.
4 You kept my eyes from closing;
I was too troubled to speak.
5 I thought about the former days,
the years of long ago;
6 I remembered my songs in the night.
My heart meditated and my spirit asked:
7 ‘Will the Lord reject for ever?
Will he never show his favour again?
8 Has his unfailing love vanished for ever?
Has his promise failed for all time?
9 Has God forgotten to be merciful?
Has he in anger withheld his compassion?’

Psalm 77:1-9


Asaph shared a vivid, intimate description of his crisis of faith during an acute personal trial. He was in “distress” and could find no comfort (v 2).


  • What did he do about his situation (v 1-2)?
  • What was the result (v 3-4)? Was this what you were expecting?


We might anticipate the verses following Asaph seeking the Lord to tell us that God comforted and calmed him. But they don’t say that at all!


  • What did Asaph fear had happened (v 7-9)?



Asaph combatted his spiritual doubt and despair by shifting his thoughts away from himself and his pain to something else.
10 Then I thought, ‘To this I will appeal:
the years when the Most High stretched out his right hand.
11 I will remember the deeds of the Lord;
yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
12 I will consider all your works
and meditate on all your mighty deeds.’
13 Your ways, God, are holy.
What god is as great as our God?
14 You are the God who performs miracles;
you display your power among the peoples.
15 With your mighty arm you redeemed your people,
the descendants of Jacob and Joseph.

Psalm 77:9-15



  • What did he choose to focus on (v 11-12)?
  • As he did so, what attributes of God came into focus (v 13-15)?


In times of suffering, our minds will be filled either with our misery, or with God's majesty. We need God's grace to stop obsessing on our distress, and instead marvel at His glory. So ask God now for a greater awe and wonder at His deeds.



Think of a friend currently going through a painful trial. Pray that God would enable them to dwell on His glorious character, rather than on their own woes.