My Soul Refuses to Be Comforted (Psalm 77)

Psalm 77 speaks to us about an experience that is common, that many of us know all too well. It speaks of suffering. It speaks of how we face suffering, and where we can turn for God’s help.

Hear this account of a suffering man:

“I tried to sleep but couldn’t. Part of it was that I was scared to wake up with a feeling of panic in the pit of my stomach. Anxiety was always present, and for no good reason it just got worse. I wanted to be out of the house, but I was scared to be alone. No matter what I did, I couldn’t concentrate except on questions such as “Am I going insane? What have I done to deserve this? What sort of punishment is this?””

– Bruce Springsteen

“I am now a man of despair, rejected, abandoned, shut up in this iron cage from which there is no escape.”

– Hopeless in The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan.

“The iron bolt… mysteriously fastens the door of hope and holds our spirits in gloomy prison.”

– Charles Spurgeon

These accounts reveal something of the despair of depression. And they all come from Christian people. How can that be?

In the introduction to his book of sermons entitled “Spiritual Depression” doctor-turned-preacher Martyn Lloyd-Jones writes,

“Believing as I do that the greatest need of the hour is a revived and joyful Church the subject dealt with in these sermons is to me of the greatest possible importance. Unhappy Christians are, to say the least, a poor recommendation for the Christian Faith; and there can be little doubt but that the exuberant joy of the early Christians was one of the most potent factors in the spread of Christianity.”

So, it is not a diversion from our consideration of the spread of the Gospel in Acts for us to turn to Psalm 77. Here, we see:

  1. The Symptoms: My Soul Refuses To Be Comforted (v1-4)
  2. The Cause: “Has God Forgotten Grace?” (v5-9)
  3. God’s Remedy: “Remember My Redemption” (v10-20)

Now, of course, this is not medical advice. We can receive much help from medicine and counseling in these areas. But there is more to suffering than what medicine can help with. So, we turn to God’s Word to hear what He says about the spiritual aspects and effects of suffering.

Sunday 30th June 2019

Review questions:

  • Is it okay to cry to God (v1)? Yes/No
  • The fact we go through suffering proves God is ________________ (v7-9)
  • What shall separate us from God’s love (Romans 8:31-39)?
  • A Christian may be depressed if we believe that God has ________________ to be gracious (v9)
  • For God to forget His grace to us, He would have to forget ___________ (v9)
  • God ____________ His people because of His covenant promises (v15)
  • Jesus’ death and resurrection were His _____________________ (Luke 9:31)
  • Most unhappiness comes from __________________ to yourself instead of ________________ to it. Lloyd-Jones
  • What should I tell myself?
  • A question I have:
  • A truth to share:
  • Something to pray about:
  • How I should live:

Published by Stephen McDonald

Christian, preacher, broadcaster

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