Do you ever go through times when you think God has forgotten you? Enduring trials can sometimes lead us to doubt God and even bring us to the brink of despair if we take our eyes off of Him and His gracious lovingkindness to us. I have learned that even in the darkest times, it pays to trust God. It is only He who can bring the light. And He will, in His perfect time and His perfect way. When David wrote the 13th Psalm, he was in deep despair, but although he felt God had forgotten him, he continued to trust. He called out to God and his prayer ended with rejoicing and song.
1. How much longer will you forget me, LORD? Forever?
How much longer will you hide yourself from me?
2. How long must my soul endure trouble?
How long will sorrow fill my heart day and night?
How long will my enemies triumph over me?
3. Look at me, O LORD my God, and answer me.
Restore my strength; don't let me die.
4. Don't let my enemies say, “We have defeated him.”
Don't let them gloat over my downfall.
5. I rely on your constant love;
I will rejoice in your salvation.
6. I will sing to you, O LORD,
Because you have been good to me. (Psalm 13, New English Bible)
Notice what was going on in David’s mind as he wrote: he felt forsaken by God and that God had turned away from him. David’s soul was filled with anguish and his heart with sorrow. He was being bullied by his enemies. But even in his misery, David wrote a lesson in faith as he poured out his story to God. G. Campbell Morgan in Notes on the Psalms, calls this “a holy exercise....faith fastening itself more surely upon the Rock.” From a gloomy beginning, David’s cry turned to confidence as he remembered how God had cared for him in the past: with constant love, salvation, and goodness (13:5-6). God was his rock.
It is good to remember how God has been gracious in the past. It will give you comfort and courage to face present trials. As you look back over your life, how has God led you, cared for you, or met your needs?
When our children were small, my husband, Barry, and I wanted to be involved in a ministry that would include our children. God led us to an orphanage in Mexico that was in dire need of help. Every month we prayerfully loaded our Volkswagen van with food, clothing, other everyday needs, and our four children perched on top of all the boxes and bags. We headed to the little town of Primo Tapia where we prepared lunch for all, worked, played with the children, and were richly blessed by Mama and Papa Torres and the many children under their care.
Not long after beginning this ministry, Barry lost his job. Winter was coming and there were no blankets for the children’s bunks. We were able to buy our monthly supply of food for the orphanage, but there was no money for blankets. We shared our plight with friends and prayed for blankets, but none were provided. Our trip to the orphanage that month was tinged with sadness -- until we arrived and found the children so excited to show us their bunks. Every single bunk had a brand new, soft, warm blanket. That very morning a couple had driven up to the orphanage and dropped off blankets -- one for each bed. No one knew who this generous couple was. Perhaps they were angels sent by God. Whoever they were, they were the answer to our prayers. God used them to meet our need and the need of the orphans! God provides for our needs when we ask in faith. Like David, let us rejoice and sing of His goodness.
I have been involved in Disciplers since 1987, as a discussion leader, teacher, writer, and now as director. I am profoundly committed to the stewardship of this ministry which God has entrusted to me for a time. God’s word is the chief joy of my life. I cherish my personal time in the word, and I am filled with gratitude to be able to share His word with you, my fellow disciples in Christ.