Feeling Helpless But Not Hopeless (Psalm 13)


1 To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David. How long, O LORD? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? 2 How long shall I take counsel in my soul, [Having] sorrow in my heart daily? How long will my enemy be exalted over me? 3 Consider [and] hear me, O LORD my God; Enlighten my eyes, Lest I sleep the [sleep of] death; 4 Lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed against him”; [Lest] those who trouble me rejoice when I am moved. 5 But I have trusted in Your mercy; My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. 6 I will sing to the LORD, Because He has dealt bountifully with me.

PSALM 13:1-6, NKJV


Have you ever had a terrible no good, dirty, rotten day? Ever had a week of those? Every had a month? Dare I say a year like that?

It can be hard to see people. They want you to smile and say everything is fine, but the truth is it doesn’t feel fine. Things are broken and you FEEL it. Sometimes the temptation can come to push down those feelings, run from them, and try to hide them (Usually by hiding from people). You feel as though it is not an appropriate attitude to wear at church. 

What a relief it is to see this Psalm. We must keep in mind that this is a song that was meant to be sung in worship. This Psalm made it to the Hebrew Hymnal because even in our depression there is a way to worship God. We need this and the conversations that it might provoke. We need to know how to approach God when it feels like He is absent!

David cries out, “How long” four times in the beginning of this song. He isn’t a kid in the back seat impatiently trying to wait for the trip to be over. He is feeling the absence of God. He wants/ needs God to move in his life. He needs to hear from Heaven. He feels like he is losing…. yet for all this feeling, he knows that God is not absent and so he prays further than his eyes can see and his heart can feel. He simply asks God to hear his prayer and enlighten his eyes. And he comes to settle on God’s mercy and his own testimony of how God has dealt with him in the past.

Sometimes that’s the best medicine for a troubled heart is to bring our brokenness to God in prayer and to understand that who God is through His word, and be reminded of his faithfulness both then and now. Sometimes it’s too easy to forget all that God has done for us and the blessings we have in Christ. It is good to practice remembering the answered prayers.


Father, Thank you that you are not just God in the mountains, but you are also God in the valleys. I’ve been through some harsh times of depression. I am grateful that even in the midst of my fears and worries that you are good and you are God. Thank you that even when you feel absent that I can call out to you with a confidence that you hear the prayers of your saints. Let me never tire of recounting the moments in my life where I saw you most clearly at work. I need this and others need it as well. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

I’m reading and blogging the Psalms Through The Summer. I’d love for you to join me. You can find out a little more here.

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