My Soul Refuses to be Comforted

 

Curing the distressed soul by musing on God’s great deeds.

 

Psalm 77

“In the night my hand was stretched out without weariness; My soul refused to be comforted.” (v.2) 
“You [Lord] have held my eyelids open; I am so troubled that I cannot speak.”(v.4)

Can you picture this scene? Perhaps you too have stayed up all night, unable to sleep not able to be comforted by anyone or anything. Have you found yourself thinking or uttering these very questions:

“Will the Lord reject forever?
And will He never be favorable again?
Has His loving kindness ceased forever?
Has His promise come to an end forever?
Has God forgotten to be gracious,
Or has He in anger withdrawn His compassion?” (vv. 7-9)

Psalms 77 vividly paints the inner turmoil the psalmist Asaph is experiencing. There is nothing like being in a state of spiritual depression. Feeling numb and disconnected from God is one of the worst experiences in the life of a believer. Adding more complexity to the problem is the fact that sometimes this coldness is not triggered by any outside circumstances. It’s purely a battle within the soul. From King David to Charles Spurgeon, many men and women of the faith have felt this sense of apathy and abandonment from the Lord. During this time we don’t feel like praying or seeking God in His word and we grow weary of doing good works. It’s sad to say, but during this dark time the idea of living for the Lord seems burdensome. As a result, guilt occurs from our lack of passion and desire for God and His glory. Some of us simply keep the problem to ourselves and go through the motions or wallow in self-pity.

As mentioned early, sometimes these stupors are not caused by any outside issues. However, unconfessed or unrepentant sin can be the sole cause of the anguish. This was the case with David in Psalms 51 when he failed to repent of his sin. Or in other cases, believing a lie from the enemy or from yourself could be the problem.  It could be a lie as simple as:  “God doesn’t love you or God has given up on you.” In this instance any known sin needs to be confessed and any thought that is contrary to God’s word needs to be brought captive to Christ (2 Cor. 10:5).

However, if none of the above issues are the culprits, a lesson can be learned from the Psalmist Asaph.  Not only does Psalm 77 authentically convey the problem, it also reveals the solution in verses 11-12:

“I shall remember the deeds of the Lord;
Surely I will remember Your wonders of old.
I will meditate on all Your work
And muse on Your deeds.”

By remembering Gods goodness, His attributes and His faithfulness we find peace.  Much like the Israelites in the bible, we are so quick to forget God’s faithfulness (Judges 8:34, Psalm 78, Psalm 106). God himself commands us to remember His deeds, which in turn helps us to recount His faithfulness and trust in Him (Deut. 5:15, 7:17-18). 

If you find yourself troubled, apathetic or spiritually numb for any reason, I urge you to turn to the word of God and muse over His attributes, promises and faithfulness. In addition to turning to the word of God, keep a journal of your prayers.  Go back from time to time to see how God has answered your prayers and proven to be faithful to you. Pray earnestly and ask God that you would be reminded and comforted by His goodness.

From the author of Lamentations, who was much acquainted with sorrow and laments:

“But this I call to mind,
And therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
His mercies never come to an end;
They are new every morning;
Great is your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘Therefore I will hope in him.’” (Lamentations 3:21-24)

 

- Armonique Hayes