Psalm chapter 75 opens with thanks to the Almighty God. It’s a prayer of gratitude. The words offer praises to God for all of His wonderful deeds.

Sometimes life takes a dark turn, stunning you with a horrifying plot twist. It could be bad news about your health or your loved one’s health. It could be sudden unemployment or loss of income. The death of someone close to you. A heartbreak.

The grief or anguish is so bad it’s like being thrown into a dark, endless, boundless sea. You try and stay afloat. Not a soul in sight. Just the vast, blackness of the ocean.

Your face is above the water. The rest of your body? You cannot see. You have no idea what creatures lurk beneath the waters, ready to pull you in, to drown you or eat you alive.

And you don’t know when the rescue boat will arrive. It is exhausting. You have lost all control. The physical, mental, emotional turmoil is getting worse by the hour.

Such is the sensation I feel when I am going through a terrible hardship. Sure, I could still breathe, as my face is above the water. But my problem is as overwhelming and borderless as the great sea. All-consuming.

As the Bible also advised — when you’re confused and panicking, pause. Then pray.

I feel lost at sea. Panicking. Agitated. Trapped. Stranded. Fearing for my life or sanity. Terrified of all the uncertainties. Feeling insecure and unsafe. Even hope seems like an enemy.

Every day, I wake up, hoping for relief. Gasping for rest. But it never seems to arrive. I am still floating in the middle of the dark ocean and unable to hold on to anything.

That’s when I always remember Psalm 75. I pause and remember the first verse in that chapter in the Bible.

I look back at all the wonderful deeds God showed me in the past. The countless times when He saved me. The many times He healed me. The many times He threw me a life raft.

And this soon relaxes me. As the Bible also advised — when you’re confused and panicking, pause. Then pray. Give all your worries to God. Put your trust in Him.

Then, gradually, my head clears. The ocean may still be treacherous, but when you look up, there’s a constellation of stars. You become bewildered by the beauty of a black velvet sky littered with diamonds.

We may be so focused on the negative, on what we are lacking, on what we are suffering from, that we forget that there are still plenty of things to be thankful for. Things that we take for granted. A supportive parent, a joyful niece, a family to come home to. Warm meals. That hot cup of coffee. The laughter in the living room. The ability to walk outdoors and enjoy nature. The ability to work, to earn. The friends that cheer you up.

There are many, many reasons to praise God. Psalm 75 — specifically verse 1 — reigns us in and redirects our focus to the positive. To the silver lining.



Harvard Health Publishing posted a study on an online article titled, “Giving thanks can make you happy.”

The article described a research conducted by two psychologists, Dr. Robert A. Emmons of the University of California, Davis, and Dr. Michael E. McCullough of the University of Miami.

The doctors asked all participants to write a few sentences each week. They facilitated three groups: one group wrote about things they were grateful for that had occurred during the week. A second group wrote about daily irritations, and the third wrote about events that had affected them, according to the article.

After 10 weeks, the research discovered that those who wrote about gratitude were more optimistic and felt better about their lives.

In June, The New York Times published a story titled “Gratitude Really is Good for You. Here’s What the Science Shows.” The author, Christina Caron, quoted Emmons: “Gratitude heals, energizes and changes lives. It is the prism through which we view life in terms of gifts, givers, goodness and grace.”

Expressing gratitude to people who show kindness to us already benefits our well-being, what more if we are grateful to God?

So when you find yourself in tough times?

Just turn to Psalm 75:1.