Have you ever had trouble sleeping? I endure bouts of insomnia often. I cannot turn my brain off. Sometimes my thoughts center on the stresses of my life, and my anxiety steals sleep. This Psalm of Asaph reminds me of the sleepless nights of worry I have spent. Verses 1-6 read,
“I cry aloud to God,
aloud to God, and he will hear me.
2 In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord;
in the night my hand is stretched out without wearying;
my soul refuses to be comforted.
3 When I remember God, I moan;
when I meditate, my spirit faints. Selah
4 You hold my eyelids open;
I am so troubled that I cannot speak.
5 I consider the days of old,
the years long ago.
6 I said, “Let me remember my song in the night;
let me meditate in my heart.”
Then my spirit made a diligent search:”
What is anxiety? At its foundation it is faithlessness, it is not trusting The Lord. When we’re anxious, we may pray, we may cry out to God almost constantly when we aren’t turning our troubled thoughts over in our heads. But we aren’t listening for the response, we aren’t allowing The Spirit to comfort or guide us. We may meditate, but rather than meditate on God’s Word, faithfulness, or strength, we deliberate on our problems, we contemplate the consequences we see as possible. There is no faith or peace in those prayers or meditations. God is not in them. Verses 7-9 convey the futility of that kind of prayer.
“Will the Lord spurn forever,
and never again be favorable?
8 Has his steadfast love forever ceased?
Are his promises at an end for all time?
9 Has God forgotten to be gracious?
Has he in anger shut up his compassion?” Selah”
Can you admit that you’ve reached those moments when your cares so overcame you, you wondered if God was real or if He was ever going to deliver you from your struggles? Suffering can engulf us. It can makes us forget God in the midst of our difficulties. We forget to look at the purpose, the joy, and the good results of what we go through. We forget that triumph requires war, conquest requires struggle, and victory requires a contest. Romans 5:1-5 says,
“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”
It can be easy to concentrate on worries instead of the Lord. It can be easy to meditate on fears instead of Jesus. But take the time to contemplate who God is, what salvation means, and all the great and wonderful things God has done. We pray and listen and let Him tell us we can have faith. We read His Word and remember all the amazing things God has done for His children. Instead of worrying over the future, we look at our past and remember Jesus saved us. We can even look at the beauty of creation and let The Spirit comfort us. In Matthew 6:25-34 Jesus told us,
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
Asaph stayed awake, he wondered where God was until He finally decided to listen to God, to remember God, and reflect on The Lord’s greatness instead of his own problems. Verses 11-15 read,
“I will remember the deeds of the Lord;
yes, I will remember your wonders of old.
12 I will ponder all your work,
and meditate on your mighty deeds.
13 Your way, O God, is holy.
What god is great like our God?
14 You are the God who works wonders;
you have made known your might among the peoples.
15 You with your arm redeemed your people,
the children of Jacob and Joseph. Selah”
God reminded Asaph of His sovereignty over everything that Asaph couldn’t control. The Lord created the earth and the heavens with words. He has authority over the entirety of creation, He can handle our problems regardless. We can trust Him. Verses 16-18 read,
“When the waters saw you, O God,
when the waters saw you, they were afraid;
indeed, the deep trembled.
17 The clouds poured out water;
the skies gave forth thunder;
your arrows flashed on every side.
18 The crash of your thunder was in the whirlwind;
your lightnings lighted up the world;
the earth trembled and shook.”
God reminded Asaph of His mighty deeds and Israel’s salvation. Verses 19-20 say,
“Your way was through the sea,
your path through the great waters;
yet your footprints were unseen.
20 You led your people like a flock
by the hand of Moses and Aaron.”
God led Israel out of the slavery of Egypt to the freedom of The Promised Land. The going was not easy, but God never strayed from His children. Believer, The Spirit led you out of the slavery of the enemy to the freedom of Christ. He is never going to leave you. He can do everything you need Him to do. He created the world. He divided the Red Sea. He rose from the dead! He can manage your room and board just fine.
Stop running after your needs and run after God instead, He’ll take care of everything else.