/ / How Long O Lord? {Psalm 13}

How Long O Lord? {Psalm 13}

Here is how we should respond when we feel despair and frustration while waiting for the Lord to answer, asking "How long O Lord".

Psalm 13
1 How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
 How long will you hide your face from me?
 2 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?
 3 Consider and answer me, O Lord my God;
 light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,
 4 lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,”
 lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken
 .
 5 But I have trusted in your steadfast love;
 my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
 6 I will sing to the Lord,
 because he has dealt bountifully with me.

 

Have you been there?  Have you prayed and asked God – How long?

How long will your trials last?

How long until God answers your prayers?

How long must you wrestle with your thoughts?

How long must you suffer with sorrow?

How long will those who dislike you, get to enjoy your sufferings from afar?

None of us are immune from difficulties and heartache.   All of us fall on hard times and have moments when we wonder…God – are you there? Do you see what’s happening to me?

David’s lament in Psalm 13 is raw.  I have to be honest, you won’t find me praying a prayer like this in a prayer circle at church.  Even if I am wondering why God seems to not be answering, I pray politely.  You know what I mean?

I like to put a smile on and display strength in adversity.  Maybe it’s the way I was raised or it’s my personality…but most likely – it’s my pride.

All of scripture is God-breathed.  Psalm 13 is God’s very Word.  And so as I meditated on this passage in preparation for this post, I let my self-righteous guard down…and allowed myself to ask this very question.

“How Long O Lord?”

How long will this trial hurt? How long will I wrestle with my thoughts?  How long will I have this sorrow?  How long Lord, until you remove this heartache?

Have you been put on hold on the phone…and waited…and waited…and waited.  After waiting 30 minutes, don’t we all start to wonder if we’ve been forgotten.

We can feel those same feelings during a season of waiting on God.

And so we return to Psalm 13:5 & 6 and we see how David responds in the midst of waiting.

5 But I have trusted in your steadfast love;
my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
6 I will sing to the Lord,
because he has dealt bountifully with me.

I love how verse 5 begins…

BUT I —“But I have trusted in your steadfast love!”

God’s love is steadfast, never ending, and unconditional.   It is in times of waiting that we need to reminded of all that God has already done for us.  He sent his son, Jesus, as a baby – “Immanuel” God with us,  who went to the cross and paid for all of our sins.  That is enough to rest and rejoice in.

David goes from crying out to God — to singing in 6 short verses!

This reminds me of one of my favorite worship songs – 10,000 Reasons (by Matt Redman).

The first stanza says:

The sun comes up, it’s a new day dawning
It’s time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes

Oh friends, whatever passes, whatever lies before us – may we be singing when the evening comes!

Stanza 2 says:

You’re rich in love, and You’re slow to anger
Your name is great, and Your heart is kind
For all Your goodness I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find

Yes! He is rich in love and for all His goodness, we will keep on singing!

Stanza 3 says:

And on that day when my strength is failing
The end draws near and my time has come
Still my soul will sing Your praise unending
Ten thousand years and then forevermore

Amen!

As we ask God “how long?”, may we simultaneously still sing His praise unending.

10,000 years and then forevermore.

Walk with the King,

Courtney

**Chime In**

Are you in a season of asking the Lord, “How Long?”

How can you still praise Him in the midst of your trials today?

33 Comments

  1. What a glorious post this evening that I needed to fill my heart and soul and spirit afresh! I’m battling leukemia, married with six amazing children four of which I homeschool. Today as much as I saw so many great things happen in our day, i just struggled to feel feel refreshed and joyous and full of praise. This song is one of my favorites and even tho I don’t know how long I will walk this cancer journey and I do find myself asking “oh Lord how long?”I do know that each day is a gift of God, a blessed package for me to open and I pray that I will always be singing when the evening comes! Hallelujah for our Almighty God and Savior! My heart needed this tonight-thank you.

    1. Courtney and Jen,

      Both of your posts have blessed me. Courtney, God heals broken hearts and I’m praying that you see and sense mending. Jen, I will pray for you tonight that you will see the smile of God in your day tomorrow. Many blessings. Lisa

    2. Wonderful words to wake up to this morning. Thank you. For almost a decade now i have been in a battle against alcohol. Through my selfish desires,my hurt and choosing to be isolated from others i have been in a wilderness. I have cried to the Lord so he would give me the desire to take up my cross and die to self. I have been filled with shame and fear of being lost from Him. Sometimes He has been silent, sometimes He has spoken very clearly about His love for me despite my actions. He has always been here. He has promised me freedom (jubilee) in this my 50th year of life. I am loved. I am forgiven. I am chosen. I am called. I will be free very soon- because He is good and His words are true.

    3. Courtney ,

      Thank you for penning those encouraging words. I am going through rough times and came across your blog. Right before clicking the link, I was bitter and complaining to God. After I read your blog, I was encouraged and remembered an incident on how God came through for me. I am at peace because I know my Father is faithful.

      Thank you for being an instrument for God.

      Jen,

      Thank you from reminding me that each day is a blessing. Girl friend, all I got to say to you … you are not forgotten. Jesus is closer than you can imagine. Sending prayers for you and your family.

      God bless 🙂
      Diane

    4. Jen, your comment made me realize that every day is indeed a gift. We don´t know how long are we going to walk in this Earth, in a blink of an eye everything can be gone. Yet here I am, burrying myself in work and sometimes fails to see the beauty of life. I don´t know what to say but here´s a sister of yours sending you hug and prayers.

      Thanks for this wonderful and encouraging post, Courtney!

  2. Yes,a very long season. I had a job and thought there would be light at the end of the tunnel, but they laid me off on Saturday. I am in a hallway waiting on God and I have such a large audience since the waiting has been so long. Many people are watching my faith. God is my strength and my song . What is even more exciting is I get to help lead worship at our new Saturday night service.

  3. Thank you for this timely message. Dr. Charles Stanley talked just last week on the subject of waiting upon God’s timing. Sometimes that is hard to do, but he knows what is best for us, and those we love. It is always for good. Jen, I pray for healing for you. Deena, I pray for God to give you something even better than your last employment.

  4. Well done! God already have my back, but in order for me to stay focused by being a single mother, full time student and a part time worker.. keeping my eyes on the Lord in my single world, drawing closer to God, better relationship with him, not to focus on my need but to love on God as well as my soon to be 11 year old daughter! Knowing deep down in my heart that God have my back, because God is always on time he is never to late, it’s not about us when we are waiting most of the time in our waiting God is working on our heart to be prepared on what he has in front of us.. what a powerful message! Thank you so much!

  5. I lost my job Thursday and this is # 4 between my husband and I in 5 years of our 6 year marriage. I am thankful for this post.

  6. AMEN, AMEN and AMEN again!!! This post is extremely timely! I have adopted a Psalm 34 attitude (I will bless the Lord at ALL times…). I’ve vowed that no matter what uncertainties and trials that life may bring, I will still have an attitude of gratitude and a praise on my lips. God is still faithful to His word!
    It isn’t always easy to stay positive when trials are rolling in like heavy waves. In our human nature, we DO question God but not at the expense of losing our faith in Him. It reminds me of a song that says, “I have no other choice but to trust Him, that’s all I can do. I have no other choice but to believe. I believe! I believe! I believe!”
    God bless you, Courtney. Thank you once again!!

  7. Thank you for delivering His message to me. I have been wrestling with this since around 4:30am today. Just breath my child, just breath….I am and I got this.

  8. Something I do with my boys when they complain or express discontentment is to, rather than address the complaint, say, “so what are you thankful for today?” Hmmmmm…..this Psalm reflects that maybe this would be a good mindset for Mommy, too. However, I am thankful for a gracious God that cares about us and even hears our complaints.

  9. Yes, I am in this season sweet friend. I am on my knees pleading with the Lord to take this cup from me and for peace to be amidst me. I remind myself that I am suffering along with Christ- that I am doing everything I can to be right with God, but it’s hard. I do know the end of the story and it’s better than anything I can dream of…thanks for this post. Love you so much, Nelle

  10. Praise be to God. This verse is a constant reminder to me that God’s love is unfailing. Through the years God has always brought me back to this verse when I was going through a challenging period where I could only look to Him for strength. I even posted the verse on the wall in my office as a constant reminder of his unfailing love. While I was reading the post this morning, the Spirit showed me the word “enough”. God is enough, no matter what we face He is enough. He will fill our hearts with joy no matter what we are walking through and He will see us through. Blessings!

  11. How timely! I apologize in advance to how long this post will be! Yes, this whole year I have felt forgotten! 🙁 I know it’s a season, but I’ve grown weary in the longevity of it and even asked foolishly, like Job’s friends, what I must have done to deserve it, but it is what it is… a trial, a very layered and long trial. Ya see, my husband and I have been married 10 years and have 4 children, one of which was his from a previous marriage where the woman left him and their daughter. She’s been with us ever since. She’s 15 now and her mother has returned to be in her life. However, she doesn’t have her daughter’s best interest at heart and in a few short years has taken her from saved, serving the Lord, having a very obedient spirit to not believing in God, wanting nothing to do with church, completely defiant (even calling the police on my husband because he punished her for disobedience) and wants nothing to do with us or our lifestyle and wants to live with her mother. She’s started cutting herself, listening to suicidal hardcore heavy metal music, dressing in all black, participating in homosexual activities with friends and strangers on the internet, we can’t help but feel as if we’ve lost her! We’ve sought counsel, and my husband has decided it would be best for our other children (6, 2 and 8 months) and our marriage to let her go…it’s been a very long 2 year journey that just got harder and darker over the last year. But we’re in prayer for her life and her future! We’ve had such a hard financial year because of this, we homeschooled her for a few years and have put her back in private school, paid for a therapist, a lawyer and court costs, it was all about $15,000. And it’s still not over. I gave birth in April to a baby born with an extra kidney which made one kidney be effected and dilated, as of his November checkup, he’s been healed! Praise the Lord! But that was emotional as well, and my 2 year old was diagnosed to have a bone tumor in his leg and faced possible surgery, but when the CT scan came back in October, it was negative and decided that he has severe growing pains instead, he also suffers from sleep apnea due to enlarged tonsils which we are having removed next week. (The week before Christmas- eek). I am praying, and trying not to lose hope! Our church has , just in the last 2 months or so, made 10,000 reasons our anthem song. We sing it almost weekly at church and I sing it almost daily at home! I have found great strength in singing and in the Psalms this year! I am still seeking His peace for our future and for our daughter to find her way back to Him! Please, if you would, be in prayer for her and our family! It would be greatly appreciated!

    1. Hi ARJ, it is well. God is going to get you through this in Jesus Name.
      Someday you will look back with a smile because God had a purpose–“to glorify himself in your family’s life”.
      As for your step daughter, let God sort her out. he alone can change people. she will come home to Jesus.
      Don’t fret. Hold on to God’s words. Don’t let him go.he is working something out. Just wait on him and he will show you mercy and his loving-kindness.

      God Bless you and your family.
      http://purposefulandmeaningful.blogspot.com/

  12. This touched me! That scripture is so right. It is crazy that it is in the Word of God, but it is no mistake. God wants us to know that even one of His children who was after His own heart will get weary. Let us not be weary in well doing. We are also to remember Isaiah 40:31 that says they that wait upon the Lord, shall renew their strength just to mention the first part of it. God bless you! It will all be worth it in the end when we look back and say that was it?

  13. We are in a season of unemployment after my husband separated from the military early this year. We’ve been frustrated with the lack of job offerings but continue to trust that God has only the best for us and our future. We continue to watch the bank account reduce, but know He’s bringing us through this, one day at a time. We are choosing to do our part in using our talents and skills to the best of our abilities and then leaving the rest in His hands. It has been tempting to follow our fears and depend on the system to keep us “safe” and “secure,” but He has repeatedly pressed us to trust Him and not obey our fears, that He is providing for our needs and that we did not need the system’s help. Certainly not saying that this is the answer everyone gets, but I know that for us, this season has been all about who we trust for our provision; Him or the system of the world.

  14. Oh, I have asked God this over and over. In fact, I think I referenced that very passage on my blog. I went through seven heartbreaking years… a season so long that I was desperate for it to just be done. In the eighth year, I had to give my 19 year old son back to God. It was unexpected and left me reeling, though still praising and trusting God. I will admit that I often think about how my own choices got me here and how God won’t allow me out of this horror show that has become my life because I haven’t learned what I’m supposed to learn. I love God and I trust that him allowing my son to go home was merciful, but nothing stops the ache of losing a child. How I wish I could come into a joyful season, but I know that God is right here with me. Thank you for these scriptures. I LOVE 10,000 Reasons, too. In fact, I quoted that on my blog, as well, come to think of it.

    God Bless,

    Lisa

  15. Love this post! I am in a season of “how long” and I know it’s because God wants to work something in me first before He can do something through me. I am taking baby steps towards learning to praise Him during the waiting period. I try to write down what I’m thankful for in my prayer journal each day.

  16. I can relate to this ‘How long?’ post. While I am not experiencing many of the trials that most of the ladies commenting are going through, I am in a season of expectation and waiting…on the Lord to bring me my one day husband! I am 33, and I have been through some tough realizations the past few years with men, and have taken this past year to really stay single and get closer to God! It has been great, but I just wonder ‘How long?’ until that next chapter begins. I am finding myself ready for that to begin. But…His timing. This blog post, Mandy Hale’s most recent blog post, and yesterday’s Louie Giglio’s Waiting Here for You – An Advent Journey of Hope (YouVersion 7 day plan) have ALL been about waiting. I think that’s an answer to my prayers right there. To keep following Him and letting Him guide me. He will grant the desires of my heart in ways that I could never imagine if I just keep waiting on Him.

  17. It feels like my husband will never find a job. With each final interview that he goes on with these Fortune 500 companies, we are hopeful and full of excitement. Then he is passed over. It’s heartbreaking each time. Especially this time of year when so much is required of us financially. I know God’s timing is perfect, but it’s been six months. I feel forgotten each time we receive the news that he didn’t get yet another one of the jobs where he was one of two finalists.

    I will praise the Lord for all we have, even if what money we have is dwindling. This season of waiting is the hardest of our lives. I hope and pray our marriage and our family make it through this.

  18. Thank you! I so needed to be reminded of this today. I have been in a season of ‘waiting’ in my life and I don’t see an end to the wait in sight. I will praise God for He is faithful and His love is unending.

  19. I am where this Psalm is. I know God is there. I know He hears me. But I just don’t know how much longer I can endure this trial. I am so tired and so weary. So tired of being sad. Of hoping only to see it vanish like mist. I know He will not let the waters overwhelm me, but I can’t breath.

  20. Currently going through a trial that I KNOW is temporary. But, oh, it is so much harder than I thought it would be. I have been putting in LONG hours of hard physical work that has not been as difficult as the emotional part of it and have not been in the Word other than verses here and there and reading short Psalms but not SOAPing (or SOAKing) because of exhaustion and circumstances. Finally making time to read this post- what a blessing! Thank you.

  21. Thank you for this post. My husband said some very cruel words last night and I cried myself to sleep asking God to take this pain away. I have lived with an emotionally abusive spouse for so long. This morning, he apologized by text. No it’s not my ideal choice but I cling to it as a start of God working in my life. I have to remember that it is in His time alone…not mine.

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