How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever?
How long will You hide Your face from me?
How long shall I take counsel in my soul,
Having sorrow in my heart all the day?…
Do those questions ever congregate in your mind? Do you see struggles more than you experience victories? Maybe you feel as though you are at the end of your rope and can’t see a way out and these questions weigh heavy on your heart. These are David’s words from Psalm 13. David is surrounded by his foes and facing imminent death. “Spiraling downward into deep emotional despair, he realized his inability to deal with his troubles.”
Consider and answer me, O Lord my God
Change your focus, turn to prayer! In his despair David turned to God in prayer, crying out, Look on me and answer (v.3). He further asked for his eyes to be enlightened, “requesting divine wisdom and understanding to see his situation from God’s perspective.”
But I have trusted in Your lovingkindness; My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, Because He has dealt bountifully with me.
With unwavering confidence David put his trust in God’s unfailing love. . . His strong belief that his prayer had been heard by God caused [him] to sing because God had been good to him. From the depths of sorrow (vv. 1-2), he was elevated to the heights of singing as he anticipated the end of his long wait for God’s rescue (vv. 5-6). How can a believer remain steadfast through difficult times? When endangered and discouraged, Christians must turn to God in humble prayer. Discouraged souls often internalize their struggles rather than casting their burdens on the Lord. This only leads to self-destruction and despair. Believers should call out to God. Only he can deliver them out of their troubles. In the storms of life, God must be the believer’s first recourse, never a last resort. Then after praying, he must wait patiently for God to act. The Lord’s timing is always perfect . . . As believers wait patiently upon God, they should do so by praising him, exulting in his grace, magnifying his goodness, and singing to the Lord, who is worthy to be praised. Because God’s love is unfailing, the praise of believers for him who sustains them should also be unfailing. (Holman Old Testament Commentary)
Dear Father, our hearts are heavy. We admit to sinking into emotional despair at times. Many times, we just feel depleted and defeated. Lord, step in and give us eyes to see your perspective. Draw us out of our self-absorption and help us to turn to you in prayer. “With unwavering confidence” help us rejoice in You. “The Lord lives, and blessed be [our] rock; and exalted be the God of [our] salvation (Psalm 18:46). O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together” (Psalm 34:3). In Jesus’ most holy name, Amen!
“Days of trouble must be days of prayer.” –Matthew Henry