READ: Psalms 77-78
THINK: Do you ever feel that God has forgotten you? Perhaps you struggle with a sense that He's simply not listening to your prayers, and if He is, He isn't responding. Rest assured, He's there, working behind the scenes and preparing you for something down the road. Rather than focusing on what you feel or see, consider what you can learn through times when God seems silent. As you humbly rely on the Lord, He will teach you valuable life lessons. Even when you blow it and bring trouble on yourself, God can restore purpose through the pain and turn troubles into triumphs if you will let go of your own way, lean on God and learn to trust Him in all situations.
RESPOND: Why does it sometimes seem that God has forgotten or abandoned us? How is Psalm 77 an example of what to do when you call out to God but He doesn't seem to respond? (See 77:1 note) How can recalling God's faithfulness in times past inspire you to keep trusting Him in the present (77:10-12ff)? In what way is Psalm 78 a reminder and warning to God's people? (See 78:1 note.) What can you learn from spiritual failures-yours and others'? Why is it vital to teach younger generations-or anyone who looks to us for an example-about what God has done for us (78:1-8)? (See 78:5 note.) What kinds of failures and shortcomings can ruin individual's and churches spiritually? (See 78:8 first note.) Why do you think the ancient Israelites persistently doubted, disobeyed and defied God, in spite of His constant care and miraculous provision? (See 78:11 note.) In what way do people today-in and out of the church-behave like the ancient Israelites? What key thing must you follow and live by in order to stay right with God? (See 78:37 note.) In what ways did God repeatedly show mercy to His people, and why? (See 78:38 note.)
PRAY: Give God thanks for always being faithful and never abandoning you. Ask God to help you learn from your mistakes and failures-past and present-and pray that you become more dependent on Him as a result.
ACT: Make a specific effort to set a good, godly example for anyone who may look up to you. Spend time talking to or mentoring someone who is "younger" in their faith or doesn't know Jesus. If you've learned a lesson from a past failure that you're neglecting to apply at the present, then make a change and start doing what God taught you.
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