A small book filled with encouraging truth. (Part II)

Psalm 13 was the focus of chapter two, titled, "How Long, Lord?"

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 he put pen to paper, David had already begun to overcome discouragement by identifying its causes and staring it in the face: Has God forgotten me permanently? Is God hiding His face from me? Why do I wrestle with my thoughts and have sorrow in my heart every day? Why does my enemy keep on triumphing over me?Do you see the importance of asking them, and writing them down? David now has something to work on. Before, he was simply fighting aimlessly in the dark."

➤ "Mind and emotions are frequently confused when we find ourselves overtaken by distress and disoriented. That is part of our problem: we think with our feelings, or more accurately, we let our feelings do our thinking for us."

➤ "In the very act of lamenting that God had deserted him, he is at the beginning of a spiritual breakthrough.
For one thing, he is actually talking, face-to-face, to the God whom he accuses of forgetting him and hiding from him!
While he admits that he is thinking with his feelings, the fact that he recognizes it indicates that a biblical mind is already at work.

➤ "When we begin to speak to God about the fact that He has deserted us, we are no longer at our lowest point; the tide has turned; we are on our way up again.
To tell God that He has deserted you; to know that you have been thinking with your emotions - these are marks of life, not of death, of hope and not of despair. Why you are even speaking to God Himself about them as though you know he cares!'

Consider me; answer me; light up my eyes. (verse 3)
"What David is doing is asking God to give the blessings He has promised; he is urging Him to be faithful to His own words, to do what He has said."

➤ "Learn the promises of God in advance. When the time of crisis or darkness comes, it is too late to start learning them. Store up the Word of God, like a squirrel storing up nuts for the winter; for the winter-time of life will surely come when you will need God's promises to act as an anchor for your soul."

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. James 4:8
"Do you see what David was doing? He was thinking about God's promises with his mind, rather than concentrating on his feelings about his situation.
At last, he was holding on to something outside of himself. Before, his whole attention had been fixed on the turmoil within his heart; he was looking at the storm.
The storm was still around him, but now he was secured to the anchor of God's promise and was safe."

➤ 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. (verses 5 and 6)
"David's recovery has begun. He had developed an obsession, albeit understandably, with himself and his own thoughts and feelings. Now a change has taken place. He is beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel and to lose his sense of self-absorption."

➤ "It should not surprise us that this transition took place in the context of prayer. Have you ever been so discouraged that you have had to drag yourself out of bed for a prayer time at church ... or even have personal devotions? Then ... you have found yourself taken up with the needs of the church, the work of the Kingdom, and the glory of God.
You came weary and discouraged; you left invigorated and exultant.
God was with you, and you knew it."

Lord! Use the cries and sadness of Your servant David to encourage and inspire us to look UP when everything around is falling apart and we cannot see any light shining through the darkness. Thank You that we can trust in Your love, rejoice in Your salvation, and sing to You - even when the trials continue to roll around and threaten to envelop us. You ARE a strong anchor, and when we run to You, You are SAFE.

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