Monday, April 13, 2015


This week Sojourn has started a sermon series on Emotion and Devotion looking at the Psalms. Can I just say I am really excited about this series as I am quite an emotional being! (Aren't we all if we really admit it.) As an intro to the series as a whole Pastor Daniel said that feelings are a gift from God that help us to live life and experience it more fully. There are so many people who would argue with this, but as I have learned to deal with my emotions, I would say this is so true. Dealing with feelings also shows spiritual maturity, which I find interesting and again quite true. As I grow in my relationship with the Lord, I find I am becoming more aware of what I am feeling and how to handle it. I still have a long way to go, but I can see God moving in this area of my life and I am so grateful.

Now onto sadness!

Our passage is Psalm 77:
My voice rises to God, and I will cry aloud;
My voice rises to God, and He will hear me.
In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord;
In the night my hand was stretched out [b]without weariness;
My soul refused to be comforted.
When I remember God, then I am disturbed;
When I sigh, then my spirit grows faint. [c]Selah.
You have held my eyelids open;
I am so troubled that I cannot speak.
I have considered the days of old,
The years of long ago.
I will remember my song in the night;
will meditate with my heart,
And my spirit [d]ponders:
Will the Lord reject forever?
And will He never be favorable again?
Has His lovingkindness ceased forever?
Has His [e]promise come to an end [f]forever?
Has God forgotten to be gracious,
Or has He in anger [g]withdrawn His compassion? Selah.
Then I said, “It is my [h]grief,
That the right hand of the Most High has changed.”
I shall remember the deeds of [i]the Lord;
Surely I will remember Your wonders of old.
I will meditate on all Your work
And muse on Your deeds.
Your way, O God, is holy;
What god is great like our God?
You are the God who works wonders;
You have made known Your strength among the peoples.
You have by Your [j]power redeemed Your people,
The sons of Jacob and Joseph. Selah.
The waters saw You, O God;
The waters saw You, they were in anguish;
The deeps also trembled.
The clouds poured out water;
The skies gave forth a sound;
Your arrows [k]flashed here and there.
The sound of Your thunder was in the whirlwind;
The lightnings lit up the world;
The earth trembled and shook.
Your way was in the sea
And Your paths in the mighty waters,
And Your footprints may not be known.
You led Your people like a flock
By the hand of Moses and Aaron.

I really love this Psalm as I can deeply identify with the writer crying out to God in distress. Asaph is brutally honest with God as he cries out to Him as it show the relationship they have. As we grow in honesty with people, so grows the relationship. It is the same with God. Tell Him exactly how you feel! He can handle it. True Godly lament is woven with trust for God. When we bring our honest sadness before God, it shows that we trust Him.

Asaph also does not shy away from asking the tough questions in verses 7-9. What is important to see is that Asaph is not putting God on trial, but he is putting his heart before God, showing where he is in the midst of this sadness. I know I have done this and I have put God on trial. There is a completely different tone and attitude in each of these. As we see in Job, we cannot put God on trial because He is God and knows what is going on in every aspect of the universe. We can ask questions as we bear our souls to our maker who loves us far more than we can imagine. In fact good questions also show trust in our God.

We see a ruthless trust in God in verses 10-20. Sometimes this takes a purposeful redirecting of our thoughts. In verses 10-12 Asaph recalls the past blessings that God has given him. This is what reminds us of God's faithfulness to us, remembering what God has done for us before. Being a Christian means that we have experienced God, even if we cannot feel His presence right now. And so, we recall His deeds of the past to help us remember who He is and choose to focus on the Lord, even in the midst of sadness.

In verses 13-20, Asaph magnifies God's greatness and who He is by going back to the parting of the Red Sea in Exodus. God is giving him the grace to see how big God really is. We need God's grace to get a bigger perspective on life and lift our eyes to Him. This does not mean we will just stop being sad. What this means is that we do not have to be afraid in the midst of our sadness and we do not have to pose acting like everything is fine when it's not. This reminds us that God is holding all things together even when our lives are falling apart.

"The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit"
~Psalm 34:18

God cares about our sad and as family we need to care about each others sad. 

Do you take your sadness to God? Do you share it with others? 

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