Psalm 13 | Trusting When You’re Weary
DAVID GOFF | September 10, 2020
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 daily?
How long will my enemy be exalted over me?
Consider and hear
me, O Lord my God;
Enlighten my eyes,
Lest I sleep the sleep of death;
Lest my enemy say,
“I have prevailed against him”;
Lest those who trouble me rejoice when I am moved.
I have trusted in Your mercy;
My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord,
Because He has dealt bountifully with me.
Just a few weeks ago, I was awakened in the middle of the night by one of the scariest thunderstorms I’ve ever experienced. Dark storm clouds illuminated as lightning repeatedly flashed, and the windows shook violently due to the thunder.
In a short time, the intensity grew, and the delay between the lightning flash and the thunderclap became shorter and shorter. It was terrifying. And then suddenly it hit. The lightning struck with an explosive crash setting off our fire alarm. We thought for sure we were hit - but it turned out it struck down the street instead. Although the storm finally passed, it was overwhelming.
We all have times when we find ourselves in the middle of a storm. It may be related to our career, friendships, health issues, or a variety of other challenges. When we are in a storm - how do we respond?
When challenges come up - we can make the mistake of becoming overwhelmed and captured by our weariness. When we give in to the weariness, it can fill us with even more grief, leave us feeling hopeless, and in some cases, lead us to physical and spiritual demise.
The good news is the Bible has answers for people in this condition. In Psalm 13, David was in the middle of a storm, waiting for the Lord’s intervention. Yet, David didn’t give in to his weariness. Instead, he trusted in the mercy of God to give him rest - providing us two truths to consider:
The challenges of life can make us weary
In Psalm 13, we see David in a period of darkness that has plagued him for an extended time. In life, some challenges we face seem to come and go fairly quickly - similar to a thunderstorm storm on a summer’s evening. However, the most challenging storms are those that linger on without an end in sight. This is the type of challenge David is going through here.
David’s weary state of mind cries out to God, asking, “How long?” four different times. He feels forgotten, abandoned, in personal sorrow, and marginalized by his enemies.
Luther describes David’s circumstance like this:
This is a prayer full of the sighings and groanings of an afflicted heart in the hour of darkness, and almost overwhelmed, under that darkness, with the extreme of grief and sorrow, and drive to the greatest strait of mind.
If you are in the middle of a storm right now, you may relate to the description of David’s condition. When we don’t see the relief on the horizon or have hope that things are going to change, we can become discouraged. It is essential to recognize that in situations like this - what we are going through is a spiritual battle. During times like this, Satan may exploit an opening to attack our thought life.
In 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, it says that we are not in a carnal war - but rather a spiritual war. We need to bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. In addition to working hard to do the right thing and say the right thing, we also need to think about the right things (with God’s enabling power). In regards to our struggles, it may be helpful to consider who is controlling our thoughts?
Now, you may be wondering how exactly do we achieve victory over our weariness and discouragement?
Trust in the Lord leads to renewal
After David reveals his sadness, he prays, “O Lord my God, Enlighten my eyes” (Psalm 13:3). What a humble and beautiful prayer! These words show that although David desired rescue from his circumstances, his hope was the mercy and salvation of the Lord. He knew that without God’s intervention, he was headed for sure ruin. David’s soul was renewed by prayer, trust, and focusing on what God had done in his life.
In our lives, our only hope is a spiritual renewal that comes from a relationship with Jesus Christ. In Matthew 11:28, Jesus invites us:
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
Yes, we can cry out that our circumstances be removed. Yet, ultimately, we need to do the same as David and trust in the mercy of the Lord. We have much reason to rejoice - even in the middle of the storm. Our sins are forgiven; we have eternal life and a savior who promises us both mercy and rest.
When we find ourselves in the middle of a storm - we can make the mistake of giving in to weariness and doubt. This will fill us with even more grief, leave us feeling hopeless, and in some cases, lead us to physical and spiritual demise. But when we put our trust in the mercy of the Lord, we can face the storms of life and not be afraid. For He is our salvation and has dealt bountifully with us (13:6).
David Goff is the Associate Pastor of First Baptist Church, Washington MI