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Psalm 77:1-2, 11-20 – Escaping the Quagmire
by Gary Sims
06/22/04
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The Psalms
Psalm 77:1-2, 11-20 – Escaping the Quagmire

Key Verses:
(NRSV)
  • 1-2: “I cry aloud to God, aloud to God, that He may hear me. 2In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord…” – This psalmist, Asaph, is struggling through hard times and in the midst of it he remembers to cry out to God for courage.

  • 11: “I will call to mind the deeds of the Lord; I will remember your wonders of old.” – We are comforted through our hard times by remembering God’s help in the past.

  • 14: “You are the God who works wonders; you have displayed your might among the peoples.” – Recalling God’s miracles and previous works can give us courage to continue.

  • 16-20: “When the waters saw you, O God, when the waters saw you they were afraid; the very deep trembled...” – Asaph writes a vivid picture, recalling God’s awesome power as it was revealed in the parting of the Red Sea.
Points to Contemplate:
  • Do you need courage? Are you fearful of the future? Do you wonder if you are ever going to be able to escape from the depths of despair that has you in its grasp? In this Psalm you can almost hear Asaph fighting for breath. His struggles have a strangle hold on his life to the point desperation is sinking in. Are you focused inwards with your despair – wallowing in a self-made pity-party? Or are you seeking refuge in the Lord? Do you cry out His name so that He can hear you? As you do so, does your focus shift outward from your troubles and towards the glory of God?

  • Do you remember? God has done amazing things in your life. His miracles in and through you have brought you to this point. Do you remember what He has done for you? Can you recant and retell the stories of old that were so meaningful in your faith-walk with God? Instead of focusing on the trouble that you face, the psalmist suggests that by remembering what God has done in the past you will be lifted today. Are you willing to give God the opportunity to pull you out of the pit of sorrow that has embraced you and set you anew on the pathway to glory that He has in store?
Promise of the Gospel:

We all face times when life seems to be pressing in on us to the point that we find it difficult to even breathe. There never seems to be enough money in the check book to pay the mounting number of bills on the desk. Pain from illness or the loss of a loved one is deeper than we could have ever imagined. A son or daughter seems lost in the grasp of society and continues to seek fulfillment in the wrong places. Work, when we have it, is too demanding, causing stress throughout our life. A spouse is frustrated, lost, or angry and the love that founded the marriage has seemingly disappeared. We are lost, alone, and in pain.

Where do we turn? How can we pull our selves out of the pit of despair or the quagmire of hopelessness? Our psalm, today, says to seek God and remember. Simply remember. As we seek His loving presence by remembering what He has done in our lives in the past, our focus turns outward and He instills new hope and direction. As we write down those memories and explore them in precise detail we are exposed to the grandeur of God. In that grandeur, in His faithfulness and unceasing love, our hearts are filled with awe and we become empowered to face another day.

FUMC Devotionals



If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be! TRUST JESUS NOW

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