I don’t know what desperate situation gripped Asaph, the writer of Psalm 77, but I’ve heard, and made, similar laments. Over the past dozen years since I lost my daughter, many others who have experienced the loss of a loved one have shared with me heartbreaking sentiments like these:

Crying out to God (v.1). Stretching empty arms heavenward (v.2). Experiencing troubling thoughts about God because of horrible circumstances (v.3). Enduring unspeakable trouble (v.4). Cowering under the feeling of being cast aside (v.7). Fearing failed promises (v.8). Fearing a lack of mercy (v.8).

But a turnaround occurs for Asaph in verse 10 through a recollection of God’s great works. Thoughts turn to God’s love. To memories of what He has done. To His marvelous deeds of old. To the comfort of God’s faithfulness and mercy. To reminders of God’s wonders and greatness. To His strength and redemption.

Despair is real in this life, and answers do not come easily. Yet in the darkness—as we remember God’s glory, majesty, power, and love—our despair can slowly subside. Like Asaph, we can rehearse God’s acts, especially the salvation He brought through Jesus, and we can return to where we once were—resting gratefully in His mighty love.