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“How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will You hide Your face from me?
How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long will my enemy be exalted over me?

Consider and answer me, O Lord my God;
Enlighten my eyes, or I will sleep the sleep of death, and my enemy will say, ‘I have overcome him,’ and my adversaries will rejoice when I am shaken.”

Sometimes I feel a bit dramatic comparing myself to David, who wrote this psalm. After all, David was constantly fleeing for his life. He was betrayed. He was constantly on the run. I’ve never had to flee from an army of people seeking my life, and I’ve never had to live hiding in caves!  Yet there is so much we can learn from this Psalm and the writings of King David. God has given us David’s words to teach us about His character and to be a comfort to us in every trial and season.

So while I have never had to flee from town to town to escape being captured like David did, the words of Psalm 13 still resonate with me. Maybe they resonate with you as well- we all have faced challenges and hard seasons in our lives. Times where our hearts are full of sorrow and we aren’t quite sure if God is actually near. For me, this year, this type of hard season came through seeing the heartbeat on an ultrasound of our new baby only to learn a miscarriage was imminent. The ensuing feelings and fluctuating hormones made for a challenging season where I, like King David, felt like there was sorrow in my heart and I wondered if God would ever answer my prayer for peace and a calm heart. For others in my life, hard seasons have come through the loss of a loved one, uncertainty with a job, unexpected or enduring illness, or many other challenges.

During trials like this, how should we respond?
The world gives us all kinds of ideas about how to work through the sorrows and hardships we encounter in our lives, yet these worldly suggestions are fleeting and only temporarily make us feel better. But God, in His Word, tells us exactly how to respond when we feel overcome by trials. David continues in Psalm 13:

“But I have trusted in Your lovingkindness;
My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord, because He has dealt bountifully with me.”

These words from David have been an encouragement to me in navigating tumultuous emotions and the sorrow of loss or trial. In the moments where it seems like hardship is consuming or emotions are running rampant, we can ask God to help us live out Psalm 13:

Trust in His lovingkindness

Taking a moment to reflect on God’s lovingkindness helps me take my eyes off of my situation and turn them to God and His character. Even in our trials, the evidence of God’s grace and lovingkindness is abounding in our lives! 

Rejoice in His salvation

James tells us in James 1:12 that “Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” How easy it is for me to focus on the here and now- a current problem, stressor, trial, or circumstance- and to forget that eternity with God awaits us after this life. Praise God He forgives sin and that one day we will be with Him forever in glory! Yes we have trials in this life, but praise God that there is life to come in heaven!

Sing to the Lord because He has dealt bountifully with me

In seasons of trial, I have found that spending time with other believers and prioritizing Sunday worship is an incredible blessing. The temptation to isolate ourselves and turn inward will be strong. But singing worship and praise to God alongside church family is encouraging, a balm to the soul, and a way to remind myself of the ways God has dealt bountifully in my life.

When hard seasons come and go, when feelings, hormones, and emotions ebb and flow, I pray we, like King David, will trust God to help us trust in His lovingkindness, rejoice in His salvation, and sing praise to Him.