The Four How Longs- Thoughts from Psalm 13

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The four HOW LONGS- Psalm 13:1-6

In times of delay, contradiction, adversity, trial, and temptation our sense is that the condition may not pass. Our trouble seems large and difficult and all encompassing; looming like a mountain refusing moved. Our hope is all we have in these situations. Faith and hope in God. Psalm 13 records David was in great distress and brings a 4 fold plea to God asking Him “How Long”. His pleas reveal how we are tested in our trials…How long will you forget me? 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 shall my enemy be exalted over me?

  •  The “Forsaken ” test– How long wilt thou FORGET ME
    • The greatest test of all- My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?- Mat 27:46
    • You feel alone in your troubles and begin to believe the lie that God has forgotten about you and you are left to wallow in your pain and disappointment
    • Forget = 7911- shakach(shaw-kakh) = to ignore, cease to care, to be forgotten, to mislay, to be oblivious of from want of memory or attention
      • To ignore= to refuse to show that you hear or see, to do nothing about or in response to something or someone
    • In times when you feel alone know that God is causing things to work together for your good- Romans 8:28
    • When men disappoint you and you feel alone in your troubles, take your strength from fellowship with the Lord-
      • Men forsook Jesus- Mat 26:56, Mark 14:50
      • All men forsook Paul- 2Tim 4:16…notwithstanding, the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me-V17
    • This test can be short or long. It can be over a circumstance, a number of various trials, or a season (2Cor 6:4-10). Meditate the goodness of God. Rehearse Hebrews 13:5- I will NEVER leave thee, nor FORSAKE thee…so that we may BOLDLY SAY. THE LORD IS MY HELPER, and I will NOT FEAR what man shall do unto me
  • Test 2- the FAITH test– How long will you hide you face from me?
    • This is satans strategy…to shift us from the faith realm to the sense realm. (We walk by faith, NOT BY SIGHT- 2Cor 5:7) We are needing God’s love and comfort at this time of need yet the lie is presented that God is in some way displeased with you and that is why you are suffering
      • Job 2:9- Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? Curse God, and die.
        • Job’s wife was also on the receiving end of Job’s trials…Job’s trial was her trial as well…her children were taken by the Sabeans, her servants were taken captive, their herds were destroyed, other sons and daughters were killed, her husband was ill…the pressure against her was immense. She lost her hope and fell into the temptation to give up on God thinking He gave up on her
      • Mark 4:38- the disciples are in a life threatening situation and Jesus is asleep. They wake Him up with the accusation, “Master, carest not that we perish?”…Jesus answered….Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith?
      • James warned that we must not doubt God when we are undergoing trials as He is GOOD and gives us GOOD…our dark shadows are not cast on Him…He is the Father of lights and bestows His blessing in due time- James 1:13-22
    • Test 3- The THOUGHT test– “How long shall I take counsel in my soul”?
      • Our mind is the battle ground which produces our victory or defeat
        • Jesus won the battle which raged in His mind through prayer – Mat 26:38- My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death…and He went a little further and fell on His face and PRAYED
      • Thoughts must be managed- God has given us this power…satan hijacks this ability and uses it for his own purpose, counting on us to take counsel in our own soul rather than in God’s Word. When we worry, fret, imagine the worst, rehearse our fears..we are actually producing what we do not want in our circumstance and reality! Our steadfast focus on our VISION, our ANSWER , our FAVORED OUTCOME is taking on the mind of the Spirit…our spirit is ruling over our soul rather than satan domineering our thoughts
      • This is a most amazing truth and is proven in the conflicts of life. Hold your thoughts on the desired outcome, practice POSITIVE PRAYER and PRAISE and STAND in FAITH. We no longer take counsel in our soul rather we use the powers of our soul to create a NEW REALITY
      • 2Cor 10:3-5- stewardship of thoughts, manage your imagination
      • Mat 12:35- thoughts are treasure…they are valuable and of great worth…we think GOOD or EVIL and according to our treasure (what we value in our soul) we bring forth into our lives.
      • The good or evil that men do comes from their thoughts. Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts which turn to ACTIONS and behaviours…murders, adultery, fornication, stealing, lying, blaspheming (Mat 15:18-19)
      • To produce GOOD we MUST think GOOD- Phil 4:8- Think on that which is TRUE, HONEST, JUST, PURE, LOVELY, of GOOD REPORT, VIRTUOUS, PRAISE WORTHY
    • Test 4- Humility Test– How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?
      • Trials and temptations have a way of humbling you. You are not invincible, untouchable, and immune to the troubles of life. Life happens. The rain falls on the JUST and the unjust. We do not live in a bubble…we live life exposed to all sorts of conditions.
      • The humility test reminds us of our humanity and limitations. The humility test teaches us that WE NEED GOD and nothing is to be taken for granted.

V3- Consider and HEAR ME = turning your focus and attention to God in a hopeless situation

  • Lighten mine eyes- 215-or= to be illuminated
    • A good prayer when you do not see the purpose of God in your trials. When the light get turned on you can see what you have been tripping over. If any of you lack wisdom let him ask of God…James 1:5
  • V4: In trials we hear the voices of the naysayers, those who have shown a lack of support for you or your cause…this can spin into self- pity , doubt, and despair. The voice of the enemy pulls us down into depression, hopelessness, and impatience. We deal with this voice by rehearsing our Victory in Christ

V5-6: The turn-around-

  • But I HAVE TRUSTED IN THY MERCY
  • MY HEART SHALL REJOICE IN THY SALVATION
  • I will SING UNTO THE LORD
  • HE HATH DEALT BOUNTIFULLY WITH ME

In times of trial and temptation feed upon the Word of God. Let your soul delights itself in fatness, the good and satisfying influence of the bible. Understand the four HOW LONGS and that God is greater than any problem or challenge you may be facing. God will bring you to the desires of your heart. Trust in His mercy, rejoice, sing, He will surely deal bountifully with you.

Blessings

Pastor Bob

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