PSALM 13 – To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David. How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me? Consider and answer me, O Lord my God; light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death, lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,” lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken. But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me.
THEME OF THE DAY. HE IS DOING A GOOD WORK IN US. Ever feel like David in today’s Psalm? Perhaps it is late at night and you are staring at the ceiling or pacing a living room floor. Life has come at us like an avalanche. The flood waters of difficult circumstances, trying times, and stressful situations are driving us to prayer, not initially prayers of thanksgiving or praise, but of heartache and pain. Even impatience. Even using the words of David, “How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?”
Friends, during those times when God seems distant, disinterested, and detached, He is none of those to His children. He is developing His children by His delays in answering specific cries from our hearts. We must have these seasons in our lives for spiritual growth. Are they hard? Absolutely. Do they weary the praying soul? No doubt. But there is a good work being done in us through those “silent times” with the Lord. Let’s think on some aspects of this work.
First, God’s delays develop persistence in prayer. One thing we don’t see from David is him giving up his cries to God. In fact, just the opposite. He intensifies his seeking help and deliverance from his God. From the questions of “How long?”, David pleads, “Consider and answer me.” Oh, how it delights the heart of God to find His children never ceasing to cry out to Him. And in this persistence comes consistency in prayer.
Another lesson from this Psalm is David goes from expressing and reliance upon his emotions to an exercise of faith in God’s character. Notice the shift in the prayer. After “complaining” to God, he stops and proclaims, “But I have trusted in your steadfast love.” Let this sink deep into our hearts. David is basically saying to God, “Okay, I submit to Your mysterious and always good ways. I know Your love is steadfast and even though I hurt, I am impatient, and I want immediate relief, I trust You.” This is the mark of maturity. When circumstances are tough, and we still say, “I trust You”, there is a significant work of grace going on in our lives. Take time and read Habakkuk 3:17-19 for a great example of this type of spiritual growth.
Finally, look at the place David ended – my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me. This wasn’t the David in the beginning of the Psalm that impatiently cried, “How long?”. He is now the mature David who became a deeper worshipper of the God who does all things well, even saying, “He has dealt bountifully with me.”
So, when it feels like God is far away and ignoring us in our struggles, stop and remember His steadfast love. He is still doing His work in us despite what may appear to and in us.
PRAYER: “Father, teach me moment-by-moment patience as You work grace in my heart for my development.”
QUOTE: “God’s delay in answering our prayers is not God’s denial of our prayers. In the delay, He is teaching us.”