Psalm 77 (Lesson On February 28th, 2021)
The big idea—More often than not, the only path out of despair is to remember the goodness of God; for us to recollect and remember God’s presence in our lives and in the lives of our ancestors. As disciples of Christ, we frequently fall into the trap of despair, and the one clear way to fight it is by setting reminders all around us.
Psalm 77 is a text that provides important material for
communities like ours. Sure, the words are difficult and perhaps haunting. Their honesty is brutal yet, they provide much stimulation for the development of our faith. Contemplating our own challenges and doubts can cause us to despair and wonder whether God is present; however, contemplating our challenges and doubts can also make us aware of how far God has taken us.
—If by the grace of God, I survived “that,” then by the same grace I can survive “this.”
Haralan Popov was persecuted for his faith for thirteen years in Bulgaria. He tells his story in his book Tortured for His Faith. On one occasion, he discusses how memorizing scripture emboldened and empowered him to share the gospel with fellow prisoners, even in the face of ongoing torture. He writes, “I decided to memorize as much of it as possible. I began to ‘eat’ God’s Word, memorizing many verses every day. Everywhere I went I had the Testament with me. I always found an occasion to study it. First, I memorized 1 Peter, then Ephesians, 1 John, the gospel of John, Romans 1, 5 and 8, 1 Corinthians 13 and 14, and 2 Corinthians 5. Forty-seven chapters in all”
(H. Popov, Tortured for His Faith [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1970], p.109–110).
Church know this... our knowledge of God’s activity in the past can help us navigate the most difficult seasons in our lives in our present and future. Let us trust in God’s care even when we cannot understand God’s movements in history.