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Psalm 77: Praying Our Discontent

For more context before you begin studying, read this introduction to the book of psalms.

"The room is too cold. Why were we seated way back in the corner? You'd think a restaurant like this would have more selection on the menu. When is our food going to get here? I don't even think this waitress deserves a tip . . ."

Perhaps you've had a meal with a person who complains like this. Some people are never satisfied with what they are given. Such people are tiring to be with. In contrast, the person who is aware of God's never-ending good gifts (and a person who seems to have comparatively less) is a joy to be around. Where do you fall on this spectrum?

Warming Up to God

Name three things you're grateful for. Reflect on your response. (How long did it take you to think of things you're grateful for? Did they come to mind quickly or slowly? How conscious are you of God's good gifts?) What did you learn about yourself?

Read Psalm 77

Discovering the Word

  • What words and phrases does the psalmist use to describe his emotion?
  • Why does he "groan" at the memory of God (vv. 3-9)?
  • How does the tone of the passage change in verses 10-15?
  • What is the source of the change?
  • How do verses 16-20 emphasize God's power?

Applying the Word

  • The psalmist's discontent makes him "too troubled to speak." When have you experienced this?
  • Sometimes our culture leads us to believe that material things and achievements, such as a promotion at work, social status, the right relationship, a new car or the perfect house, will bring contentment. What false sources of contentment do you put faith in?
  • What in this passage could help you reform your thinking?

Responding in Prayer

The psalmist finds his source of contentment in who God is. Make God's character—rather than your needs—a focus of prayer.

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