1 How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
2 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?
3 Look on me and answer, Lord my God.
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death,
4 and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,”
and my foes will rejoice when I fall.
5 But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.
6 I will sing the Lord’s praise,
for he has been good to me.
No doubt this psalm was written during the time David was running from Saul. David spent four years fleeing from one place to the next trying to evade the attempts on his life from the King. Saul had every resource at his fingers and yet God kept David from harm. Even after Saul’s death David was not recognized as king for another seven years. Through these trials, even in the questioning, David’s faith remained – and even grew stronger.
The psalmist starts in despair. Has there ever been a time when you felt totally alone? You may be surrounded by tons of people, even those that love you.. and yet you are trapped in a solitary room of helplessness. We know from reading the book of 1 Samuel that David was indeed surrounded with fighting men and at times family while running. But he was never in a state of peace because he was constantly on the move – fearful for his life. He cries out, asking a sovereign God why He is absent. The most agonizing part of all is the internal thoughts. The ‘why’… the ‘where are you when I need you’… the consciousness of the pain of those suffering because of you.
In all of this, it seems that the enemy is winning. For David the enemy comes in two forms: the King of Israel and the king of this world. While he physically fights for his life against King Saul, he must also fight spiritually to keep God at the forefront of all of his thoughts against Satan. It’s a struggle we all must face – most of us daily. What consumes your mind when you first wake? What thoughts force you to contemplation of why God would allow this to happen? If God is all powerful, all knowing, and never wrong – why would he allow such suffering in His children? Could it be for a purpose? The real question remains: why not me?
13 “Yet if you devote your heart to him
and stretch out your hands to him,
14 if you put away the sin that is in your hand
and allow no evil to dwell in your tent,
15 then, free of fault, you will lift up your face;
you will stand firm and without fear.
16 You will surely forget your trouble,
recalling it only as waters gone by.
17 Life will be brighter than noonday,
and darkness will become like morning.
18 You will be secure, because there is hope;
you will look about you and take your rest in safety. – Job 11
Do you trust God? Will you look to Him in your suffering? Will you praise Him in the hurt? Oh how He loves us. In His great mercy to us He gives us trials that show us there is something greater than ourselves. There is One who will take care of our souls – the one thing we cannot lose. What does it matter if this body is troubled? Will we not receive the most precious gift of all? How can we be in despair if we know that we have been given a gift that can never be taken away? God’s promises are sure. His word will not return void. His children are secured in Him by the precious blood of His son – It is finished.
“17 Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath.18 God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie,we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. 19 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, 20 where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf.” – Hebrews 6
“David learned that happiness and joy are different things. Happiness is that fleeting state of emotion that’s dependent on doing. However, joy is a long-term process of the mind that’s dependent on being. For David, it’s the seasons of trial and suffering — chaos and confusion — that ultimately develop deeper and more profound joy. The key is to know God as your internal compass.” – more