This outline is a companion to two previous outlines: In the Day of My Trouble - Psalm 77
But I Will Remember - Psalm 77:10-12
In Psalm 77:4-9 the psalmist Asaph cried out and complained, saying, “Thou holdest mine eyes waking: I am so troubled that I cannot speak. I have considered the days of old, the years of ancient times. I call to remembrance my song in the night: I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search. Will the Lord cast off for ever? And will he be favourable no more? Is his mercy clean gone for ever? doth his promise fail for evermore? Hath God forgotten to be gracious? Hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies? Selah.”
As we have noted in a previous outline (see above), through this complaint we understand that the psalmist had come to a place of utter discouragement and depression. In addition, we understand that the foundational reason for the psalmist’s discouragement and depression was that he had come to a place of doubting and questioning the gracious, merciful, and faithful nature of the Lord his God. Yet by the end of this psalm, the psalmist had come to a completely different place, to a place of comfort and courage through whole-hearted trust in and praise of the Lord his God. The turning point for this change began with the opening confession of verse 10 – “And I said, This is my infirmity.” Herein the psalmist acknowledged and confessed the sinfulness of his attitude against the Lord.
Yet what was the path by which the psalmist originally came to the place of utter discouragement and depression? This path is revealed in the steps of Psalm 77:2-3. According to the opening portion of verse 2, the psalmist had indeed sought the Lord through prayer – “In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord.” Yet this involvement in prayer did not bring relief to the psalmist’s attitude; for in the opening portion of verse 3, he declared, “I remembered God, and was troubled.” Why did seeking the Lord through prayer not bring relief? It did not bring relief because although the psalmist involved himself in the practice of prayer, his heart remained focused upon the troubles of his life. This then was the psalmist’s path to utter discouragement and depression:
1. A Meditation upon the Calamities of a Troubled Heart and Life.
Psalm 77:2b – “My sore ran in the night, and ceased not.”
2. A Refusal to Be Comforted by the Truth of God’s Word.
Psalm 77:2c – “My soul refused to be comforted.”
(Psalm 119:49-52 – “Remember the word unto thy servant, upon which thou hast caused me to hope. This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me. The proud have had me greatly in derision: yet have I not declined from thy law. I remembered thy judgments of old, O LORD; and have comforted myself.”)
3. A Doubting of the Lord’s Care for Him in His Need.
Psalm 77:3a – “I remembered God, and was troubled.”
4. A Practice of Complaining against the Circumstances.
Psalm 77:3b – “I complained.”
5. A Condition of Being Conquered by Bitterness and Depression.
Psalm 77:3c – “And my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah.”
Posted in Outlines in Psalms, In Time of Trouble, Sin of Unbelief, Sin of Complaining, Godly Meditation, Godly Attitude