My wife and I are reading through the Psalms in our evening reading and occasionally a nugget of the Psalms jumps out of the page. Don’t you love it when, after years of reading the “Old Book” passages become alive, reinforcing old teachings or simply warming your heart.
This is the book of Psalms, and it is rich.
I pray I can communicate a portion of the blessing we receive from this wonderful book.
Let us take a few moments and consider Psalm 13
Psalm 13: 1-6
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.
How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?
Consider and answer me, O LORD my God; light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,
lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,” lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.
But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
I will sing to the LORD, because he has dealt bountifully with me.
As a believer, I have forgotten His mercies and grace too many times to recount. During my hectic day and to my shame, I find little time to think on His goodness. He is a constant Savior, even a Brother, that treats me better than I deserve, and because of that, I yearn to be of that character. The character of Christ, who exhibited a self sacrificial life, forgives me as I repent of my wrong thinking/doing and is constantly drawing me into fellowship.
As I consider His goodness, grace and kindness, I tend to hear the niggling doubts, the faraway thoughts that remind me of my fears and struggles, the enemies that are so real. And yet these two thoughts seem to be at war with one another.
It has been years since I learned that fear and faith cannot live together. Why can I not maintain this truth in my experience? Why must I be reminded of it so often?
It appears that the psalmist is going through the very same struggle that so many of us can identify with.
At one point in the first verse the psalmist states that God is ignoring him, forgotten His child, ceased from caring for His child. He claims that God has hid His face from him, a term that signifies absence. The Father is no longer available to the child.
Have you experienced this? Have dark times enveloped you, where the love of God is completely absent from your life, where the enemy is seemingly victorious, and that you have no helper, no resource, no experience with the Father?
I do not intend to minimize this, as I have in the past experienced very dark times of solitude, of living in fear and feeling abandoned. As many of my readers may know, I have known the Lord for over 40 years, and during that time have struggled with many battles.
If I were to admit to one battle that I seem to have recurring failure at is that of addressing my fear. My fear of rejection, my fear of loss, my fear of failure, my fear of shame…. Need I go on?
The psalmist had physical enemies that were growling about his life, that were nipping at his heals. The victory of the enemy seemed inevitable.
Our fear seems justifiable in the appearance of the circumstance!
The believer is to rest in the steadfast love of God, in the constant truth of the salvation found in the Messiah. Does this resolve all specific aspects of all the circumstances being faced by the saint?
Circumstances do not necessarily change because of trust. (They may of course, due to His mercy, but that is not the point of this post!)
The psalmist states a fact, that is that he has trusted in the steadfast love of God. The circumstances are what they are, and yet in the past, the saint has trusted. The saint is trusting now, and this is obvious, since his heart is in rejoice mode. Fear is fleeing, and the rejoicing heart is victorious over it. (Consider 1 John 4:18!)
To trust is not to have all the answers, or to be experiencing “your best life now”. As a matter of fact, trust implies that there are issues that are fighting against our decision to trust.
Consider the concept Paul refers to in Romans 8:24-25
For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
What we see with our physical eyes is often a distraction for our spirits eyes.
As you consider this, remember that the life of faith is truly a battle.
The turning point for the psalmist was his remembrance of the steadfast love of the Lord. Do not abandon your trust by concentrating on the appearance of life.
It is either faith or fear.
These two do not exist together.
Remember the steadfast love of God when the enemy rears its head and tells you to be afraid!
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