When the going gets rough | David & Psalm 13

David is one of the greatest, most well known “heroes” in the Bible.

David was the slayer of Goliath and King of Israel. He is referred to as a man after God’s own heart and is highly respected in Jewish culture.

But he wasn’t always great…

David was poor; he was the youngest and smallest of 8 sons

David was scared; King Saul tried to hunt him down

David was sinful; he slept with another man’s wife then had the man killed to cover up his mistakes


David was redeemed; he was Jesus’ great (X14) grandfather


The Psalms are a collection of emotional outpourings to the Lord

The most prominent author was David; David wrote 73-75 Psalms which were about his unmasked, vulnerable feelings towards God

I have been reading a Psalm a day (which is a slower pace than I tend to like), and it’s been really interesting reading someone else’s feelings towards God. Sometimes I relate entirely, and other days I understand the sentiments because I was once there, and then other times I cannot understand because I have never been in that place of immense pain.

A while ago my chapter was Psalm 13 (this has been in my drafts for a long time..I’m in the 60s now):

O Lord, how long will you forget me? Forever?
How long will you look the other way?
How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul,
with sorrow in my heart every day?
How long will my enemy have the upper hand?

Turn and answer me, O Lord my God!
Restore the sparkle to my eyes, or I will die.
Don’t let my enemies gloat, saying, “We have defeated him!”
Don’t let them rejoice at my downfall.

But I trust in your unfailing love.
I will rejoice because you have rescued me.
I will sing to the Lord
because he is good to me.

In 6 verses, David goes from immense pain and suffering to trusting in the unfailing love and faithfulness of the Lord. While I have never thought God had turned his back on me, sometimes I feel like God is ignoring me or doesn’t care about my desires. I have felt true pain in my heart and know what deep anguish feels like.

So what do we do when we can’t see the other side? Let’s look at how David responded…

David accepted his pain. He told God exactly how he felt; he didn’t care about offending him or scaring him — God knows how we feel, and He’s seen our sin, so He’s seen some offensive things. Be real with him for your own sake.

David asked for healing. Even when we’re asking for good things (like the enemy not having the upper-hand), we’re not guaranteed as believers to get our prayers answered in the way we want. But we can ask, and the Bible says to keep asking (Luke 11:9-10). The Lord hears and will answer.

David trusted the Lord. David referred back to what he knows — the Lord is the embodiment of unfailing love (aka God wasn’t gonna fail him). He remembered the times in the past when the Lord came through for him (just because you cant see the Lord now doesn’t mean you never have — Remember all the Lord has done for you!!!). David decided to sing in the midst of his pain because he knows God has a plan and that it is good.


David couldn’t see the purpose in his suffering or see the plans God had for him, but he trusted despite his surroundings. David didn’t let his current suffering keep him from following the Lord; his current suffering led him closer to the Lord.

God rescued him from his current situation into his big-picture purpose — to live as a “man after God’s own heart” (Acts 13:22), doing what the Lord says and trusting him daily.

Ultimately, David’s trust in the Lord allowed him to be a part of God’s plan for salvation.

What we know now that David didn’t at the time is that God used David’s redemption story to continue the lineage to the birth of God’s ultimate redemption story


If God can use David, he can use you. If David’s life wasn’t perfect, yours doesn’t have to be. When life is going not-so-great, know that God is writing this part of your story. If he’s not answering your prayers in the way you want, He sees beyond it to the glorious future he has planned for you.

“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us” – Romans 8:18


****Finals season is hard. It’s hard to see how so much stress and a bad grade or two can be part of God’s plan. It often feels like a week of suffering, but there is a bigger purpose. Your life is more than this week. Cling to what is good (Romans 12:9) and choose joy (James 1:2-3). God’s gonna bring you through it. Maybe there is something huge on the other side of this semester! So spend time with the Lord even if you’re busy; listen to worship music; thank God you get to even go to school. If you’re supposed to do well, you will; if not, you won’t. Trust the Lord****

I love you! Let me pray for you!



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