17 July 2018

Galatians 4
Psalm 77

Psalm 77. The Psalmist is in distress and says, ‘I cry aloud to God, aloud to God’ (verse 1*) and ‘In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord’ (verse 2). He recognizes that in his difficulties he needs the Lord. How many times are we not exactly like that? When things are going well we forget about the Lord and then when trouble strikes we call out to God in our distress. In our difficulties, we are drawn back to God.

The Psalmist says, ‘When I remember God’ (verse 3) which indicates that he knows God. Our strength in difficult times comes from our knowledge of who God is. Not just a mere acquaintance of God but an intimate knowledge of His nature and character. The Psalmist knows what God has done in history as he says; ‘I consider the days of old, the years long ago’ (verse 5).  But he also has personal knowledge and experience of God as he says, ‘I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your wonders of old. I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds.’ (verse 11)

Three times the Psalmist mentions ‘meditate’ (verse 3, 6, 12) when he considers God and His works. We tend to shy away from ‘meditation’ as we attach Eastern mystical connotations to it. That form of meditation requires you to empty your mind and focus on nothing. However, Christian meditation is totally the opposite. It is the filling our minds on God, His Word and His deeds. Donald Whitney covers how to meditate in his excellent book Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life – it is definitely worth reading if you haven’t already. A quick summary of how to meditate from that book can be found in this helpful article as well: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justin-taylor/17-ways-to-meditate-on-scripture/

When we are in times of distress and difficulty, we need to be able to draw on our knowledge of God and remember (and meditate on) His faithfulness in the past. In order to do that we need to ensure we grow in our knowledge of God and His ways when we are not in distress. That is one reason why we ought to be reading the Scriptures daily (which I hope this daily blog is helping you to do); attending a Connect group; attending Sunday services (where God’s Word is taught each week) and meditating on God’s Word. Are you doing all these things?

*All quotations are from the ESV