But I Will Remember
By Pastor J.D. Link
I encourage you to read Psalm 77. This Psalm is a classic example of the anguish that comes upon a child of God, when Satan, the accuser of the Brethren, and the enemy of our souls, attacks our mind with his fiery darts of doubt and unbelief, and sows the seeds of heresy and lies and hopelessness into the fields of our minds. However, this Psalm also gives us an example on how to combat and overcome these tricks of the Devil, by putting on the full armor of God, and thereby extinguishing every fiery dart he hurls at us. If we will listen to what the Spirit of the Lord has to say to us as we study the precepts in this Psalm, and then apply these principles to our everyday lives, we will experience growth, maturity and victory.
Vs. 1 – Have you ever been so distressed that you could only cry out God’s name? Have you ever been so overcome with sorrow, that all you could do was say “Jesus”, because words seemed inexpressible? Then perhaps you can relate to Asaph. If you are in the midst of a spiritual battle, and you feel you are being overwhelmed, and cannot call to mind even one prayer or Bible verse – then cry out to Jesus. Jesus! That name above every name! That name at which the demons must flee!
Vs. 2 – Who do we run to when distressed and overwhelmed? When everything seems hopeless? In the day of your affliction, seek the Lord. Run to Jesus. We read that His hands were “stretched out” to the Lord all night. He could not cease praying, but his soul refused to be comforted. He could not see the good, he could not find joy, because he was in the depths of despair. Peace and joy and goodness seemed out of his grasp. Have you ever felt that way?
Vs. 3 – Have you ever thought on God and been angry? Have you ever been mad at God? Have you ever raged, shouted and shook your fist towards the heavens? Perhaps you’ve never literally done this, but have you, in your heart? Be honest with yourself – God knows anyway. We see here that when we complain & murmur and meditate on negative things and speak negative things, our inner man can become overwhelmed, faint and clothed in darkness. It’s what poison does to the natural body, making it weak and sickly. Negative thinking and speaking is poison to our hearts. Our minds become ate up with hopelessness and despondency, and we can no longer see the good. We become depressed and negative, and the enemy succeeds in derailing us
Vs. 4 – Can we relate to what he is saying? Have you ever been so consumed with depression and negativity that you could not sleep? Have you ever been so troubled, that you could not speak? That your heart was so heavy, there seemed like no way to express it? That if you were to be asked what is troubling you, you had no words? No way to explain? Most of us probably have experienced this to some degree, some worse than others.
Vs. 5 – He was trying to remember the good times, the happy times; Or perhaps the times that God had done great things – a miracle – in His life. Or mightily answered a prayer. Or brought victory to His people in the past, like in the Exodus. But they seemed out of his reach at the moment.
Vs. 6 – He was inwardly searching for that happiness, peace and joy. He was desperately trying to remember the joy of his salvation, As David had prayed in Ps 51:12 “restore unto me the joy of my salvation”. He was trying to remember his “song in the night“, when in the past he was rejoicing in the Lord, but it wasn’t coming to him. There were bygone seasons that he had sung for joy – sung hymns, and psalms, and spiritual songs and whistled tunes of thanksgiving and rejoicing – but none of them came to memory. It’s as if they had left him.
We will now see in verses 7-9, that he was reaching the depths of despair and hopelessness. It all seemed impossible. For a moment, he actually wondered if God had totally forsaken him forever. Meditating on negative and depressing things, and then complaining and accusing God had brought him to a very bad place mentally and spiritually. It always does. No good ever comes out of it. I say, no good ever comes out it! Notice now the sewer of lies and deception he had descended to (see Ps 77:7-9).
Selah means to pause and think about this. All right, let’s stop here and think about this. Is this true? Has the Lord cast off forever? Is there no more favor from Him? Has His mercy truly ceased forever, and His promises ceased forevermore? Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has He, in His anger, stopped His tender mercies towards us?
In the depths of despair, negativity and hopelessness, we must stop and rationally consider these things. Is what I’m feeling the truth? Though I feel despondent and hopeless, is that really the case? Is that the reality of my situation? We must never suspend logic and our rational intellect; and most importantly, we must never suspend the truth and power of God’s eternal Word, simply because we “feel” a certain way. This does not mean all feelings are wrong, though some are; but it means that feelings are not eternal truth, so they must be put into subjection to God’s ultimate truth.
Now notice verse 10. This is the turning point in this Psalm. Like the prodigal son in the hog pen, he is coming to his senses. The light of truth is beginning to shine once again! Notice, he says, “This is MY infirmity. This is my weakness. This is my problem. This is my wrong thinking. This is my negativity. This isn’t the truth! I have bought into a lie. Like King David said in Psa 42:11 “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.”
David was talking to himself. We have to talk to ourselves! More importantly, we have to talk truth to ourselves! Because, the fact is, we are always talking to ourselves; and the only question is, WHAT are we saying to ourselves? Are we believing the lies of the enemy, and speaking that to ourselves – or are we believing the eternal truth of God’s Word, and speaking THAT to ourselves? Soul, why are you cast down? Why are you troubled and raging and in an uproar? Hope thou in God! I will praise Him, who is the health of my countenance. And that very literally means, I will praise Him, who puts a smile on my face!
Let’s look at the second half of verse 10 through verse 15. “… but I will remember.” Again, we “Selah“, or pause and reflect on this! That God is an awesome God, He is a mighty God, He is the only true God, He is our Creator, our Redeemer, our Restorer, and the lifter of our heads! He is a very present help in time of trouble! He is or Savior and Friend! He is our healer and deliverer! He is our strong tower and our fortress, the solid rock on which we stand! He has done great and mighty things for His people, and he has done great and mighty things for us personally! And because He is the Lord who changes not, He will do great and mighty things today and in the future!
In Jesus we live and move and have our being! In Him we have life and life abundant!
In Him we have unspeakable joy! In Him we have peace that passes understanding! In Him we have eternal life and forgiveness of sins! In Him we are accepted in the beloved! In Him we are blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places! In Him we are declared holy, righteous and redeemed! Give Almighty God the praise, honor and glory due to Him!
That’s proper thinking! That’s how you defeat the lies of the enemy! Put on the full armor of God and take your thoughts captive! Rule your thoughts, and don’t allow your thoughts to rule you! You are sons and daughters of God Almighty! You are co-heirs to the Kingdom of God with Christ Jesus! You are a special people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation!
I want to draw out one more key point in closing (see Psa 77:16-20). The Psalmist finishes up Psalm 77 recalling the mighty things God did for the children Israel at the crossing of the Red Sea. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, it is revealed to us by Asaph, that the night of the Exodus, the waters of the sea parted in fear and awe of God; that it thundered and there was lightening and rain; and the earth trembled and shook – and that it was The Lord Himself who led the children of Israel through the Red Sea. This brings me to my last point: at the end of verse 19, it says, “and Thy footsteps are not known.”
Not only did the Egyptians not see God, nor comprehend how those things were happening; but the Israelites didn’t see God, either. Of course, they saw the cloud by day and pillar of fire by night, but they didn’t actually see God. But yet, here they were, safe on the other side of the Red Sea, their enemies destroyed before their eyes.
My point: In order to get victory over the world, the flesh and the Devil, and live as overcomers in Christ, we must come to completely accept this truth: God is always with us; He is always showing Himself strong on our behalf; and He is always working everything together for our good – though we don’t see Him, nor understand how He is going to do it. “Thy footsteps are not known, oh Lord.” But Thy mighty works are, and they prove over and over again that You are with us. You never leave us nor forsake us; and You are with us always, even unto the end of the age.
So in summary: When you are feeling despondent, depressed, hopeless and negative – don’t blame God, or get mad at God – but rather, run to God. Don’t allow those negative, fearful and doubt-filled thought-seeds to take root in your heart. Raise your shield of faith. Encourage yourself in the Lord. Talk to your own soul! Repeat the promises of God to it. Tell it to hope in God. Praise Him who puts a smile on your face! And finally, never doubt God’s work on your behalf, even though you can’t see Him, or what He’s doing behind the scenes. Just trust Him. Just trust Him. “Only believe.” Selah.