How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day? (Psalm 13:2)
Maybe you have been carrying a heavy burden for a long period of time, and the strain is beginning to tell. It may be physical pain or mental anguish, or it may be the sheer weight of responsibility that God has placed on your shoulders.
God has sustained you, but as time goes by, the burden seems to get heavier. You find yourself saying “How long, O Lord? I’m not sure I can sustain this much longer.” If you’re not in one of these situations today, thank God, and remember that many of your brothers and sisters in Christ are.
If you’ve seen a Christianity that only speaks about answered prayers, and victorious faith, and abundant blessings, then you need to take this psalm seriously. We live in a suffering world, and Christian believers are not exempt from it. No one who takes the Bible seriously can conclude that Jesus promised his followers a pain-free life. We are followers of a crucified Savior!
God speaks to this suffering world, to life as it is. Romans 8 is one of the greatest chapters of the Bible. How does it begin? “There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (8:1). How does it end? “[Nothing can] separate us from the love of Christ” (8:39).
In the middle, Paul says, “We ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies” (8:23). Psalm 13 is a “groaning psalm” and God has placed it in the Bible because at some time all of us will need it.
When were you last in an agony of soul? What happened to your prayer life?