Psalm 13: Trust, Rejoice, and Sing
January 13, 2022
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
Genesis 31, Psalm 13, Matthew 5:33-46, Acts 8:1-25
David felt as if God had forgotten him. It seemed to be a condition that was going on forever: “How long, O LORD?” It had left him depressed: “sorrow in my heart all day long.” He turns to God for help. “Consider and answer me, O LORD my God.”
Perhaps you have these feelings sometimes—perhaps you have them today. Perhaps you have an “enemy” (13:4) who looks as if he is going to beat you, or at least beat you down. You fear he will “prevail.” In such a situation, what do you do?
David provides us two objective truths and three personal actions that counter these feelings of despair in the face of a desperate situation. The two objective truths are God’s “steadfast love” and his “salvation.” When you are in this kind of despair, this sort of dire situation, take hold of the truth of God. Look not to the waves, as one of my mentors once said to me; look to the One who walks on them.
What truths about God in particular? His covenant, his “steadfast love.” God is a faithful and loving God. He will not change his character just because you have changed your circumstances. Rely on the truth that God is a God of steadfast love.
And then look to the future: your “salvation.” If you are a Christian, you are saved, and one day you will fully and finally be saved in the new heaven and the new earth. You have a hope, a destiny, a purpose. These great truths—God’s “steadfast love” and his “salvation”—are anchors in the storm.
But then David also employs three personal actions. The three personal actions are to “trust,” “rejoice,” and “sing.” First of all, David “trusted.” There comes a moment when you must decide. Will you trust or not? You cannot stay on the fence. And you will either trust the message of your circumstances or trust the truth of God who is beyond and above your circumstances. Which is it to be? David “trusted.”
Then David “rejoiced.” Despite the heinous nature of the attacks of his “enemy,” despite his concurrent depression and “sorrow,” David also rejoiced. To rejoice, biblically, is an active commitment: it is not a noun expressing your current emotional reality; it is a verb indicative of your committed, willful action. He rejoiced. By personal discipline, by personal action, he determined to rejoice in what he knew was true about God, rather than what he feared was true about his circumstances.
And then finally he sang. “I will sing to the Lord.” When all else fails, sing. Sing in the shower. Sing in the car. Sing in church. Sing. When you sing, you are using the music of God’s creative order to connect to the truth of God’s revealed gospel, and binding together your emotions with God’s purposes. Sing songs of gospel truth. Crank up the volume on your favorite worship song. Sing—whether you sing well, in tune, or not. Make it loud. For God’s steadfast love is reliable, and his salvation is certain. And therefore, trust, rejoice, and sing!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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