Wednesday, April 13, 2016

When The Trials Just Drag On

Psalm 13:1-6

To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.

“How long wilt thou forget me, O LORD? for ever? how long wilt thou hide thy face from me?  How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? how long shall mine enemy be exalted over me?” (Psalm 13:1-2)

When we are struggling, sometimes it seems like the problems will never be resolved and that God has forgotten us.   Sometimes we almost give up hope of ever seeing and end to them.   For many years, David had fled from Saul, constantly at the risk of his life.  He wasn’t even old enough to get into the army when he fought Goliath, and he was thirty when Saul died.  Even then it would be seven more years before he was able to stop fighting with Saul’s army and unite Israel.  He had felt that sense that it would never end. 

I Samuel 27:1 describes such a point in David’s life.   “And David said in his heart, I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul: there is nothing better for me than that I should speedily escape into the land of the Philistines; and Saul shall despair of me, to seek me any more in any coast of Israel: so shall I escape out of his hand.” 

Although he believed God, even David reached a point where Human strength felt it could take no more.  He asks, “How long will this continue?”  How long will he have to keep telling himself one day God will give the victory?  How long will he be subject to the whims of those who hate him?   It is and experience we all have from time to time. 

“Consider and hear me, O LORD my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death; Lest mine enemy say, I have prevailed against him; and those that trouble me rejoice when I am moved.” (Psalm 13:3-4)

David asks God to hear his plea, and take away his sense of hopelessness and depression.  He asks for assurance that his enemies will not kill him, like it seems will surely happen.   He also asks that they not be able to think they have won, or make fun of him when he is forced to move to another position.   It really hurts to be left with the feeling our faith in God has been misplaced, even for a few moments. 

“But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation.  I will sing unto the LORD, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.” (Psalm 13:5-6)

Though David has come to point where it feels like God is not going to keep his promise, David is still trusting his mercy.   Though his sin deserves death, God is merciful and will allow him to escape the judgment he deserves.   Hopeless as it seems, he believes that God will save him.  As a result, he going to sing to the Lord because he has blessed him so richly. 

Sometimes, we just have to gird up our loins and keep trusting God, remembering how he has blessed in the past, no matter how hopeless it seems at the moment.  David experienced this several times, and most of us will as well. 

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