PSALM 13:1-5 – 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.
THEME OF THE DAY. LIFE’S STABILIZING FORCE. Every one of us could have written today’s scripture. Not as an inspired writer, but by the experience of the Psalmist. Remember the last time, it might not have been long ago, like David, God seemed to be so distant in our lives, so slow in answering our prayers, and all we could do was cry out of the depths of our hurting souls, “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, this experience is not foreign to God’s people. It is common to God’s people. In His mysterious, but always good ways, our Lord has ordained the path to perfect rest with Him in heaven is through a wilderness where perfect rest does not exist. There are those dark times for the testing and development of our faith, we enter those “How long?” seasons of heartache, spiritual pain, and a sense of abandonment by our God. But notice what I said, “a sense of abandonment by our God”, not a real abandonment by our God. We may, and often we do, feel God has left us alone, but our God never leaves us alone. The promise from our Lord Jesus is true whether we feel its power or not – “I will never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5). Feeling alone doesn’t mean we are alone and by faith, we cut through the spiritual fog of feelings. Like in today’s scripture with David. In his pain and impatience, he took hold of his emotions and exercised a bold and confident faith. The object of his faith that brought his feelings under control – the steadfast love of his God. Notice that transition. David goes from pain to praise – But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. And we may follow his example by doing two things.
First, remember that feelings are never reliable and never to be trusted to measure the character of God and His dealings with us. In the beginning of the Psalm, David is a spiritual mess. His impatience over his circumstances is causing him to live by feelings and smothering his faith. The result is a forgetfulness of who his God is. Like David, if we trust feelings, we will be tossed up and down in seas of doubt, fear, and spiritual instability. Feelings are as unstable as water and must never be allowed to rule us.
The next thing to do, like David, is fix our minds on the steadfast love of God, and particularly, the unchanging nature of this love. Remember, God does not just demonstrate love, but He is love (1 John 4:16). Develop the mental and spiritual discipline to meditate on God’s attributes, especially His love, because He deals with us out of those attributes. And the more we know of His character, the more, again like David, we grow in our trust of Him. It will be a trust leading to the ability to overcome those inevitable “How long, O Lord?” seasons that are part of the journey to be with the Lord in glory.
PRAYER: “Father, I praise You for Your steadfast love – the strength that enables me to live above circumstances.”
QUOTE: “God’s steadfast love empowers the heart to not grow weary when life is confusing and hard.”