“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” -1 Thessalonians 5:18
The book of Psalms is a beautiful book in which we read of all types of emotions. We see psalms written about the strength of the Lord, about His glory and honor. And then we see a contrast in some of the psalms, where we read psalms written to God as a cry for help, or an expression of great sorrow.
I find the book of Psalms to be the most reflective of our day-to-day lives. Of course the entire Bible should be part of our everyday lives, but the book of Psalms shows how it feels, how it really is to be a follower of God. The psalm I am going to be looking at today is Psalm 13, which is a psalm about a great sorrow and a hope to reach God.
“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?” -Psalm 13:1-2
We see here in the beginning of this passage that David is reaching out to the Lord and asking, “How long will you be away from me?” We read also in Psalm 130:1, “Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord! O Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to my pleas for mercy!” and then later in verses five and six, “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His Word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning.”
And then in Psalm 120:1 we read, “In my distress I called to the Lord, and He answered me.” See, the feeling of being alone and separated from the Lord is natural. It is normal. Whenever we go through those difficult times in life it’s okay to feel these things. But look here in this verse where it says, “In my distress I called to the Lord and He answered me.”
God is always looking out for His children. Whether you feel like He is or not, He is. It is not our job to take counsel in our own souls. We read that David was in verse two of our main passage. And in that fact he took sorrow. God did not give us His word and full access to Him so that we could console ourselves. Philippians 4:6, a verse I’m sure you’re familiar with says, “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
While it is completely normal and okay to feel distanced from God, it is not acceptable to not try to fix that distance. Distance between us and God can be fixed with simple study and prayer. Maybe your hardships make it difficult to feel as if God is still with you, but as long as you are faithful to Him, He is with you, and you will never have to fear that He will leave you.
“For it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” -Deuteronomy 31:6
“Consider me 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.” -Psalm 13:3-4
In these verses, we see that Davis is crying out for help. He’s saying, “Save me.” here we see David going to the Lord with his troubles and asking for God to have mercy on him. This very closely resembles the previous verses, but it sheds a little bit more light as to what is happening. Not only does David feel alone, but he feels vulnerable. He may die, his enemies are pressing in close, and he needs God’s help.
While we may not have the same kind of enemies as David had, we do still have enemies. And if somehow you don’t, you will always need help from God. There will always be something that causes us to need Him. This dependability will draw us nearer to God, if we cling to Him and if we cling to what is good.
Psalm 110:1-2 says, “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool. The Lord sends forth from Zion your mighty scepter. Rule in the midst of your enemies!” Now this does not mean that we are entitled over those who dislike us. Too often do I see this attitude where people automatically assume that if someone doesn’t like them, that they are automatically better. An attitude of, “How dare you not like me, you must be beneath me.” This is not what that is saying.
This verse is not literal. We will not literally reign over our enemies. Did Christ come to Earth that He might reign over His enemies? Of course not! This is simply stating that we will overcome our enemies and then some, but only with the help of the Lord. Only if we stick close by God.
But if we do stick close by the Lord, and if we do honor Him in all things, we will be honored through His name, and He will take us to our ultimate Glory to live with Him for eternity. And that is better than being king over all our enemies.
“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.” Psalm 13:5-6
Here we see a great contrast. David goes from “Lord where are you?” to, “The Lord has dealt bountifully with me.” Even in our darkest of times, we can know that the Lord is still with us. And King David does an excellent job of illustrating this fact to us here in these verses, and all throughout the book of Psalms. We see it in Psalm 103:1 & 6; Psalm 117; Psalm 113:3; Psalm 34:1, and in countless others that I won’t name because it would simply take too long. But we see that God is always with us. Even in our struggles, He blesses us.
God is always with us, even when we feel distant and separated from Him. No matter what it is that you may be going through, or will be going through, God is there, and we can always rejoice in Him. “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say rejoice.” This verse was written by Paul, a man famous for being in countless trials. There is always something to rejoice in, and we should never forget to praise God, even in our greatest tragedies just as David did here in Psalm 13.