Psalm 13 – The God Who Hears Even When He Seems Distant

It seemed as if God had forgotten David, had hidden Himself from him, and as if it would last forever. It always seems as if a time of intense trial lasts forever, doesn’t it? The hard thing about waiting is that you have to wait! Don’t you hate to wait? Waiting is especially hard if you don’t have much to do while you wait. Sometimes it seems as if God moves so slowly! We live in a day that says, “Hurry, hurry, hurry!” But so often God says, “Wait! Wait! Wait!”
Do you know why many Christians do not grow to maturity and why they are not used by God in a mighty way? It’s because when God seems distant to them, instead of calling out to Him, they just shrug their shoulders, say “Oh, well,” and go back into the world. Or, they go buy the latest self-help book that promises to fix their problem, but it doesn’t help them to trust in God alone. David didn’t do that. When God seemed distant, he called on Him to answer him. Instead of turning from God, he turned to Him. Instead of complaining to men about God, David complained to God about men. Matthew Henry wisely 7 observes, “We should never allow ourselves to make any complaints but what are fit to be offered up to God and what drive us to our knees.”
[And in the last two verses,] David has not yet been delivered, but he trusts in the lovingkindness of God, and a calm assurance comes over him. His heart is filled with joy as he thinks of the deliverance which God will bring about. By faith, David counts God’s future deliverance as past and says, “I will sing to the Lord, because He has dealt bountifully with me” (v. 6). Please note that David’s circumstances had not changed one bit from the start of the psalm, when he felt confused, depressed, and forsaken by God. David was still hiding in caves; Saul was still on the throne, trying to kill David. So what changed? David’s focus! From focusing on himself and his problems at the start of the psalm, David shifted his thoughts to God’s loyal love and salvation. That shift in focus moved him from confusion and depression to joy and praise!
When God seems distant, join David in deliberately trusting in God’s unfailing love, however the winds of circumstance are blowing. As David wrote in Psalm 103:11: “As high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him.” You can count on it, even when your circumstances seem contrary. He is only taking you through the difficulty to develop maturity and godly character. “But it’s been months! Years!” Yes, that’s the way He works. He builds things to last, and that takes time. But the finished product is so much better in quality than quick imitations that don’t develop trust in the living God.

Steven Cole

Read Psalm 13. Do you struggle with hoping in God during difficult seasons of life? Is it hard to wait on God and to call out to him in prayer during those seasons? How can the way David works through this struggle in this psalm inform those seasons of your life?

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Posted on: July 20, 2017 - 10:00PM

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