A sermon idea based on Psalm 77.
When your mind begins to wander and doubt creeps in, remember God’s good and gracious acts in the past.
I love that the 77th psalm swings on a hinge. Near the beginning, the author is contemplating some pretty heavy feelings of doubt. He writes, “I am so troubled that I cannot speak,” (v. 4) and begins to question whether God cares about his plight or not with the words, “Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has he in anger shut up his compassion?” (v. 9)
The psalm ends on an entirely different note – one of celebration of God’s gracious intervention and care for the suffering of his creatures. He proclaims, “You ARE the God who works wonders.” (v. 14)
What makes the difference? Verses 11 and 12:
I will call to mind the deeds of the Lord;
I will remember your wonders of old.
I will meditate on all your work
and muse on your mighty deeds.
Psalm 77:11-12 NRSV
To “call to mind,” “remember,” “meditate,” and “muse,” all point to purposeful mindfulness. The psalmist is doing what you and I can do in moments of doubt and despair as well:
- Guiding our thoughts intentionally toward truth.
- Remembering the markers in our history that serve as evidence of a good God at work.
- Connecting the dots between the living God’s past actions and our own uncertain future.