Although we do not know the background of this Psalm of David we do know that David is struggling spiritually. This is a good psalm for those who feel like God has forgotten them.
In the first stanza of the psalm there is a recurring theme. “How long” is mentioned four times. The psalmist asks four questions: when is God going to remember him, when is God going to show Himself, when is his sorrow going to end, and when will he have victory.
Throughout the Christian life we can all feel the exact same way. It can feel like God has abandoned us to defeat and suffering without any end in sight. We know in our heads that God has not forgotten us, but it would sure be nice to see Him work for a change!
In the second stanza the psalmist lays out four struggles he is having. First, it feel like God does not even consider his situation or hear his prayers. What a struggle it is when you feel like your prayers don’t even pass the ceiling! The second struggle is that David sees no light at the end of the tunnel. He feels like he has no hope and is going to die under the weight of his trials. Many times in our walk with the Lord we feel as if we have no hope; this demoralizes us and gives us the feeling that our time on earth is nearing an end.
The third complaint he has is that his enemy will defeat him. This is not simply a competitive desire for victory or a selfish desire for praise. The enemy of David is the enemy of God and God’s people. David feels like he is fighting for God and God has abandoned him on the battlefield. This leads to David’s fourth complaint. He knows he will not be able to stand much longer, and he does not want God’s enemies to rejoice when he inevitably falls.
Hope in God
Even in the midst of all of this turmoil David encourages himself in the Lord. He expresses his faith in Who God is. He knows that even though he sees no light at the end of the tunnel God is still faithful. Because of this he is going to go ahead and praise God for the salvation he has yet to see. He will sing God’s praises and recount the goodness of God to him in the past.
As believers we need to be far more open about our struggles. Many people feel as if they are alone in the darkness. This is why we need to sing Psalms like Psalm 13. We need to be open about our struggles to encourage others.
We also need to realize that God has not changed. The God Who has come through for us in the past will come through for us in the future. We can trust God’s character. What we KNOW about God should guide us, not how we FEEL in the moment.
We also see that it is not that we can trust that God WILL do something, we must trust that God HAS done something. God has already done everything for us in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. This alone should cause us to rejoice in the midst of the darkness.