An Anchor of Hope for the Dinghy of Despair

The gospel gives us freedom to be honest. Honest with ourselves, with others and with God. Psalm 13 describes an anguished David, wresting with his present life experience and the role of God in it. His emotions are being tossed like a dinghy on the waves of a storm. But when his heart finds anchor in the gospel promises of the Lord, he is steadied, sustained and able to face his distress with new hope.

Here is the Psalm:

1 How long, O 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 every day have sorrow in my heart?  How long will my enemy triumph over me?

3 Look on me and answer, O Lord my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death;

4 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 to the Lord, for he has been good to me.

Take-aways for me today are:

  1. Sometimes it seems as if God is far off, uncaring and unresponsive (it’s okay to admit that’s how you feel) – v. 1
  2. Emotions are powerful and can overwhelm us to despair – v. 2
  3. When emotions weigh down with despair, look up to God for grace in prayer (talk to him out loud, not just in my mind- have a real conversation) – vv. 3-4
  4. When emotions weigh down with despair, remember that God’s love is “unfailing” (his covenant faithfulness is relentless and unwavering – Romans 8:28) – v. 5a
  5. Sometimes we have to fight for faith (“I WILL TRUST!” – I need to learn to say “but”) – v. 5a
  6. Meditating on the cross of Christ (actively remembering and personalizing the cross) is a source of great hope and is the anchor for my soul (since Jesus experienced this same seeming abandonment for me, I can know that I will never be abandoned – he is the one who slept in death in my place) – v. 5b
  7. Singing the gospel has a uniquely powerful way of reviving the heart – v. 6a
  8. Since God has been good to me, he will continue to be good (Romans 8:31-32) – I am his beloved son – v. 6b

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