Edward F. Lundwall Jr.
Psalm 13: Faith's Triumph in Difficult Circumstances
"How long wilt thou forget me, O LORD? Forever?
How long wilt thou hide thy face from me?
But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation. " (Verse 1, 5)
How would I learn to trust you, if the desire for victory, comfort, and pleasantness were always satisfied? Therefore, I thank you for the difficult circumstances which trouble my soul. In these times, I learn there is a difference between what can be seen and what cannot be seen, between principle and application, and between faith and experiences.
These are the times my enemies assail me, where they would deprive me of what makes my life worth living. While David had his life and the lives of those near him in danger from physical enemies, I have spiritual enemies of temptations of evil thoughts (2 Cor. 10:4, 5) against what gives my life meaning. For me, the full foundation of life is to know what you are calling me to do and finding fulfillment in its accomplishment.
While enemies from the spiritual world cause me continual frustration, especially as I try to discharge my ministry, yet, I have a greater enemy. By overcoming this enemy, the Lord Jesus said a man is greater than a general who would take a city. That enemy is my flesh, the old me, the self-centered, self-satisfying, self-confidant, and self-reliant life dwelling within me.
The Apostle Paul described the old man as the sin dwelling within. It is the nature I was born with. Before I was born again, all my life was only the flesh. Now subtle warfare goes on continually between that old life and the new Christ life. So often the old life defeats my best efforts to do right and to not do wrong (Rom. 7:17, 18).
I praise you for the enablement you have given in a measure of fruitfulness. I desperately want the fullness of my hope and vision to find fulfillment. How greatly I want to find the consistency of overcoming those things eroding my discipline and the urgencies that derail my concentration. These upset the priorities necessary to fulfill my stewardship.
I must remember real accomplishment comes as I can distinguish between what you call me to do and the subtle religiousness of the flesh. Help me to remember my faith reliance upon you in Christ. Herein springs the vitality of my spiritual life! I find this to be true whether I stand before you or myself. Then, I will be able to concentrate upon living a balanced life. Then, life is a blessing and not a burden. Then, I can rest when my being needs rest and recreation. For You have said ou give the godly sleep and you care for us even while we sleep (Psalms 4:8; 127:1, 2).
O Father, I thank you for promising to will settle me and establish me by your enabling grace, for your mercies have kept me from perishing from Satan's assaults and my failures. Further, Father, you have been so patient with me and in mercy have not destroyed me because of my failures. As I think about your salvation, and the grace flowing from the Cross making it possible, I again rejoice in the faith you went to so much pain to begin; you will continue in me until I see You (Phil. 1:6). For you have exhorted me to see myself united with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection, even from the day of my baptism (Rom. 6:1-5, 10-13; Eph. 1:15-23).
“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good
to those who love God,
to those who are called according to [His] purpose…
predestined [to become] conformed to the image of His Son…”
Romans 8:28-29 (NASB)