“God must not care about me. He must be punishing me. I just can’t go on.” Do these phrases ever come from your lips? Does the feeling of utter hopelessness seem to take over your thoughts, permeating throughout your entire body as you wonder if life is worth living anymore? Do you cry out to God pleading for His help and yet the answers never seem to come? You are not alone. But you might feel alone. The Bible is replete with instances of God’s people in distress asking for help, looking for answers.
Psalm 13 is a cry from the heart of King David as he pours out his need before God. Feeling far away from God, David asks if God has forgotten him. “How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?” (Psalm 13:1) Four times David cries out the phrase “How long?”. There are instances of pain and distress for followers of Christ that are common to all. Then, there are some who go through seasons, years, and even lifetimes of persistent pain and trouble.
Chronic diseases that make life seem unbearable have afflicted many people; this Psalm is for you. Years of struggle, fighting temptation, and dealing with horrible family situations has been the lot of many; this Psalm is for you. In fact, this Psalm is for any one of God’s people who have ever uttered the phrase “I can’t go on.” However, when Psalm 13 becomes your prayer, it will give you hope that you can.
As you read the Psalm, you may relate with David’s pain, but when you get to verse 5 do you still see yourself? “But I have trusted in Your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in Your salvation.” Can you proclaim such a statement of faith in spite of the circumstances you may be going through? Bible commentator Matthew Henry observes, “Here the mind of the despondent worshipper rises above all its distressing fears, and throws itself, without reserve, on the mercy and care of its Divine Redeemer. See the power of faith, and how good it is to draw near to God.”
It is my prayer that you would sing to the Lord with David because you recognize that “He has dealt bountifully with [you]”. You will sing whether or not your circumstances change because you know, as the Apostle Paul learned, the Lord’s “grace is sufficient for you, for [His] power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9) Matthew Henry continues, “In this way believers pour out their prayers, renouncing all hopes but in the mercy of God through the Saviour’s blood: and sometimes suddenly, at other times gradually, they will find their burdens removed, and their comforts restored; they then allow that their fears and complaints were unnecessary, and acknowledge that the Lord hath dealt bountifully with them.”
Let’s take a moment to look at how God demonstrates His love and goodness through the Gospel message. Perhaps, you’ve heard this word “gospel” but don’t know to what it refers. What is the Gospel? The Apostle Paul writes in Romans, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.” (Romans 1:17) The gospel is the good news that God has made a way for broken sinners, such as myself, to be made right with Him through faith in Christ alone. The gospel is made possible through the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. “Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you…Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) Jesus lived a perfect life, died the death we deserve, and rose again defeating sin and death; when we turn from our sins and believe in what Jesus has accomplished for us we can be certain we have eternal life. This is the gospel. This is the grace of God through which we can get through the hard times of life.
“I can go on.” I can say this, not because I am so strong and put together, but because I have trusted in my Savior Jesus Christ and He will get me through. It is only because of Christ that I can move forward every day and trust that no matter what comes upon me, I will be okay. If this is not you, then I implore you to come to Christ. You too can have hope in any circumstance. You too, with David, can say, “I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me.” (Psalm 13:6)
By Pastor Nick Jones
Maranatha Baptist Church
1320 E. Saguaro Dr. Globe, AZ