Psalm 13: Worried? Think, Stay Calm and Direct Your Cries to God

Psalm 13: Worried? Think, Stay Calm and Direct Your Cries to God

This short Psalm is typical of many psalms — the writer starts off crying, in a panic because of a terrible situation. He’s worried and he cries out to God. By the end of the psalm, he’s done a complete 180-degree turn and he’s praising God. Ultimately, it shows us that worry and panic are futile emotions. Let’s dig in…

Psalm 13

For the choir director: A psalm of David.

How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever?
How long will You hide Your face from me?
How long shall I take counsel in my soul,
Having sorrow in my heart daily?
How long will my enemy be exalted over me?

Consider and hear me, O Lord my God;
Enlighten my eyes,
Lest I sleep the sleep of death;
Lest my enemy say,
“I have prevailed against him”;
Lest those who trouble me rejoice when I am moved.

But I have trusted in Your mercy;
My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord,
Because He has dealt bountifully with me.

Psalm 13 NKJV

Digging Deep

  • This psalm was probably written during one of the many times David was fleeing and hiding from King Saul. You can read the story starting in 1 Samuel 17. After David slays Goliath, King Saul becomes jealous of him and wants him killed.
  • You can hear his anguish. I can imagine what he’s going through. “How Long!” Likewise, I was unemployed for 2 years between 2008 and 2010. It was an awful time. However, God used this time to teach me to trust Him and be patient. I always said that patience was not my greatest virtue. Nevertheless, from studying His Word, I learned that patience is part of the Fruit of the Spirit found in Galatians 5. I had to rely on the strength of the Spirit because I didn’t have any strength of my own.
  • David spent 7 years eluding King Saul. Constantly being pursued, he was always looking over his shoulder. That would tire anyone.
  • Yet, he trusts God enough to turn to Him for help, for relief, for rescue.

Pastor Sandy Adams explains verse 3…

Notice David believes in a resurrection. Death is not the end. We know the spirit goes to God at death.

David’s focus is on the body – it sleeps and waits for the day when the dead in Christ rise first and living believers are snatched up to be with Jesus. The rapture marks the resurrection of those who trust in God. But again, even with the rapture, the question is “How long?”

As Christians it’s important we learn that God is never, ever in a hurry!

The great preacher Phillips Brooks was pacing the floor one day when someone asked him, “What’s the problem?” He replied, “The problem is, I am in a hurry and God is not.” You can’t rush God or hurry Him up… But this is the Christian life… We ask “how long” – God says “Be faithful.”

Here David is saying he doesn’t want to die…Four times David asked “How long?” Three times he says, “lest,” or “what if.” Here are the enemies of faith – the “how longs” and “what ifs.” We try to be patient and wait on God, but the “what ifs” torture us. They make us antsy and ratchet up our anxiety. We have as much control over the “what ifs” as we do the “how longs.” Both are in God’s hands, not mine.

Here’s the cure… we need to wait and rest. As long as we’re waiting on God’s will, we can rest in God’s will. If God pushes pause, then He knows what’s going to transpire in the meantime. We’ve got to get a handle on “how long” and “what if” – if not, it’s the tag-team duo that will pin our faith. Let’s learn to wait and rest.

Sandy Adams

Ending the Psalm in Praise

I love the last 2 verses,

But I have trusted in Your mercy;
My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord,
Because He has dealt bountifully with me.

Psalm 13:5-6 NKJV

Funny, when you sing praises to the Lord, worry, anxiety, and anguish all disappear.

Paul writes in Philippians…

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV

Believe me, it really works! Notice that Paul says, “Through Christ Jesus“. That means no one else — not Mary, nor any of the Saints can help you. They were human and are now dead and buried. Therefore, you must trust in Jesus ONLY!

The folks at Spoken Gospel comment…

The hiddenness David experienced would also be experienced by Jesus himself. 

Jesus was killed on a cross by his enemies, though he did nothing to deserve it. But more importantly Jesus also willingly took responsibility before God for sins that were not his fault. Jesus allowed our sin to separate him from his Father. This is why Jesus cries out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46). On the cross Jesus experienced a planet’s worth of divine silence and God’s absence. 

But Jesus did this willingly because of his loyal love for us. He was forsaken so we could be accepted. Regardless of what goes wrong in your life, even when things are as bad as they can possibly get, in Jesus we have proof of God’s eternally loyal love for us.

In Jesus we can know that neither our circumstances nor our enemies define the terms and the extent of God’s love. But Jesus’ death and resurrection do. And if Jesus was willing to die, there is nothing—not even death—that can separate us from his love for us (Romans 8:38-39). 

Spoken Gospel

My question to you is can you sincerely pray verse 5?

We’ve all got the “How Long, Lord?!” down. Furthermore, I, being a born-again believer, am not afraid to die. In addition, I’m also ready for the Rapture — any minute now! I can also wholeheartedly pray…

I have trusted in Your mercy, Lord Jesus;
My heart rejoices in Your salvation.
I sing to You, Lord,
Because You have dealt bountifully with me!

Pslam 13 paraphrased by Giselle Aguiar

Does YOUR heart rejoice in the Salvation that is only found THROUGH Jesus?

If you’re not sure if you’re saved or not, if you truly want to be born again and have the assurance of salvation, receive the Holy Spirit, feel His Shalom — a peace that surpasses all understanding, and get a 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven after you die, or that you won’t be left behind at the Rapture, which can happen at any moment, this is what you have to do…

Believe. Repent. Be Baptized. Receive the Holy Spirit.

  • Believe — have Faith — that Jesus is the Christ and He died taking your sins away forever and that He rose from the dead 3 days later.
  • Repent of your sins — stop sinning! Do a complete 180-degree turn in your life and surrender your life to Him. When you ask Jesus to forgive you He will. ALL your sins will be wiped clean — past, present, and future! And All means ALL!
  • Be Baptized by water baptism — show the world and yourself that you have died to your old life and are born again in Christ.
  • Receive the gift of Holy Spirit in your heart.

Invite Jesus into Your Heart and Receive the Gift of Grace, Joy, Peace, and the Confident Hope of Eternal Life…


Soli Deo Gloria — To God Alone Be The Glory!

Leave a Comment

Skip to content