When problems only multiply and crises are exploding, what do you do? Let me share a few of my failed remedies through the years. For endless frustration: Scream. For depression: Eat ice cream, a large bag of chips, a box of chocolates—maybe all three. Or watch movies on TV. For fear: Accept it’s hopeless and stay in bed as long and often as possible. When crying out for help: Call a friend, daily if needed, to bemoan my constant torment.
None of the remedies lasted. The best I could hope for was maybe a day of comfort. Yet, somewhere inside, I kept searching for answers. And one day while reading God’s Word, I found something amazingly powerful in Psalm 77.
“I cried out to God with my voice—to God with my voice; and He gave ear to me. In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord; my hand was stretched out in the night without ceasing; my soul refused to be comforted. I remembered God, and was troubled; I complained and my spirit was overwhelmed. You hold my eyelids open; I am so troubled that I cannot speak” (verses 1-4, NKJV).
Through many experiences, I have learned that when I am desperate and immersed in fear, meditating on God’s Word can give me space to listen. Quiet can comfort and help me see the path ahead.
“I have considered the days of old, the years of ancient times. I call to remembrance my song in the night; I meditate within my heart, and my spirit makes diligent search. Will the Lord cast off forever? And will He be favorable no more? Has His mercy ceased forever? Has His promise failed forevermore? Has God forgotten to be gracious?” (verses 7-9a).
I have felt like this too many times . . .
wondering, Is God angry at me? Has He rejected me? Does He exist? In verses 10-14, I could finally hear His words. They answer what to do when we are overwhelmed with problems in our lives!
“And I said, ‘This is my anguish; but I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High.’ I will remember the works of the Lord; surely I will remember Your wonders of old. I will also meditate on all Your work, and talk of Your deeds. Your way, O God, is in the sanctuary; who is so great a God as our God? You are the God who does wonders; You have declared Your strength among the peoples” (verses 10-14).
The answer is to remember! Something amazing and powerful happens when we start remembering and thanking God for how He has worked in the past. Writing down my prayer requests and the answers has helped me. Then, when I am really troubled over a problem or crisis, I take out my prayer notebook and start thanking and praising God for the ways I have seen Him work in my life and in other lives.
I love this quote, and I remind God of it often: “When we are humble and contrite we stand where God can and will manifest Himself to us. He is well pleased when we urge past mercies and blessings as a reason why He should bestow on us greater blessings. He will more than fulfill the expectations of those who trust fully in Him” (The Ministry of Healing, p. 513).
In this issue you’ll find several stories about how people learned to handle impossible problems. Praying it will bless you!