10 Then I said, “I will appeal to this,
to the years of the right hand of the Most High.”
11 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.
This psalm is a great example of how a person who is struggling with despair ought to respond to the Lord. In verses 1-9, the psalmist expresses his distress. He fears that God has abandoned him. He wonders if God has “forgotten” to be gracious. His personal experience is such that it no longer seems that God is kind, merciful, and loving. And so, this man is in deep distress.
How he chooses to respond to that distress, however, is where the lesson is for us. He responds, not by simply allowing the feeling of distress to grow. He does not continually complain about his problems or compare his circumstances to those of others. Instead, the psalmist finds healing in remembering the past faithfulness of the Lord. Even though things are tough at present, the psalmist looks back—back to the scripture, back through his own personal experience—in order to see the beautiful past faithfulness of God. As he remembers God’s faithfulness in the past, he also recognizes that it is foolish to think that God will not be faithful in the future as well.
Today, do you find yourself distressed? Do you find that your circumstances make it hard for you to see the goodness of God. If so, do what the psalmist did. Look back in the scriptures to again see the faithfulness of God. Look back over your own life to find the points where God has blessed you, been kind to you, and shown himself faithful to you. The God who has always been faithful in the past will remain faithful in the present and future. Read of God’s faithfulness in the scriptures. Meditate on his wonderful works. Look to his word to remember his character, and you will find hope in times of distress and despair.
Dear Lord, I thank you for your word, because it reminds me of your faithfulness. Though life’s circumstances can be difficult, frustrating, and discouraging, you are never unfaithful. You have always accomplished your will. You have always done what is right. And you promise that you will work all things together for the good of those who love you and who are called according to your purpose. I pray that you will constantly remind me of how faithful you have been in the past and how faithful you promise to be in the future.