Do these words from David ring true for you today?
O Lord, how long will you forget me? Forever? How long will you look the other way?
How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul, with sorrow in my heart every day?
How long will my enemy have the upper hand?
Turn and answer me, O Lord my God! Restore the sparkle to my eyes, or I will die.
Don't let my enemies gloat, saying, 'We have defeated him!'
Don't let them rejoice at my downfall. (Psalm 13:1-4 NLT)
Are you feeling forgotten by God? Do you find yourself wondering where He is while you are in the midst of battle and struggle and hurt and disappointment? Are you wishing God would do something to help, but not sure your prayers are getting through?
That's apparently what David was feeling. Alone. Forgotten. Ignored. Weak. Almost defeated. Constantly hassled by his enemies.
Those are not uncommon feelings, even for the strong of faith. Sometimes life is like that. We experience attacks from all sides, and it seems that trouble and distress is around every corner. During those days of anxiety and sorrow, it is easy to fall into the trap of believing that it will always be this way. We settle into the mindset that life will never get any better. When these times continue for long periods there is the potential to lose hope.
Those are dangerous times. Those are times when we must consider our steps very carefully and wisely. Nothing would please our enemy more than for us to lose hope, to give up, to accept defeat, and to lose the joy found in the Lord. Like David, you may be almost there. If so, do what David did.
In verse 4, David is dreading how his enemies will gloat and rejoice over his defeat. Then, suddenly, as the psalmist often does in the Psalms, the tone changes. He looks above his fears and throws himself into the arms of the Lord.
But I trust in your unfailing love.
I will rejoice because you have rescued me.
I will sing to the Lord because he is good to me. (Psalm 13:5-6)
We must do the same. When we sink low into the despair and hopelessness of what seems certain defeat, we must look up to the Lord and say:
But I trust in your unfailing love. I will rejoice because you have rescued me. I will sing to the Lord because he is good to me.
That's the power of our faith. That's a test of our faith. That's what can happen when we draw near to God. If we bring it all to Him and leave it there, through His grace and mercy He will enable us to sing again. He will rescue us.
Here's another version of David's prayer:
Lord, my life is hard right now. Nothing is turning out like I thought it would. Instead of victory, I'm experiencing defeat on every side. It seems like the Enemy is winning all the battles. I feel like a loser and I feel like my enemies see me as a loser. I'm not sure how long I can go on like this. Sometimes, when it gets really bad, I become afraid. I feel like You have left me here all alone. But, I know that's not true, because I trust You. I know You will never leave me. And I believe that one day I will again sing and rejoice because You are good to me. I trust in Your unfailing love.