How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?
But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
I will sing to the LORD, because he has dealt bountifully with me. Psalm 13:1-2, 5-6
King David cries out to God for answers to His prayers, for deliverance from His oppressors, and for God to bestow His grace and favor upon Him. The Psalms are full of similar prayers that resonate to the hardships that we face. “How long?” we cry out. Our knees buckle and our faith wavers, but like David we turn to God for help. We seek more than just answers. Our feeble hearts turn to God to be rescued.
God’s ultimate answer to King David’s prayers was not what the world would expect. Rather than just waving some magic wand and making all of David’s problems go away, God did quite the opposite. He left His heavenly throne and came down into this fallen world full of sin and He lived among us. God’s solution was not simply to lift David to heaven and out of the suffering he was enduring, but to descend to this wasteland where He could endure the ultimate suffering by taking on Himself all of the pain and punishment that David and all humanity deserved because of their own selfish ways. Christ’s hands were stretched out on the cross so that David’s sins could be laid upon Him.
This is why even in David’s darkest laments there are still words of hope. He still clings to the promise that one of His own descendants would be His Lord. For Christ not only suffered for our sins, but He also rose victorious from the grave. He broke sin’s bonds so that we might live in the hope that the suffering which we endure on account of sin, our own and the sin which we inherited, is temporary. We can live in hope like David, trusting in God’s steadfast love and rejoicing in His salvation. We may still wonder how long will we endure a particular cross and time of suffering, but we never despair because we know that God’s solution was to send Jesus to this world of sin to rescue and deliver us. When we cry out to Him, we have a Savior who is able to sympathize with our weakness because He walked this earth. While we do not always have the answer to the question we want, we know that God does indeed hear our prayers for Jesus’ sake and that one day we will be delivered from this veil of tears to Himself in heaven. May God strengthen us with this hope that we might not lose heart but live each day trusting in the God who came down to us!
Prayer – Almighty God, You have promised to hear the petitions of those who ask in Your Son’s name. Mercifully incline Your ears to us who have now made our prayers and supplications to You, and grant that those things that we have faithfully asked according to Your will we may receive to meet our need and bring glory to You; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Fraternally in Christ,
President Lee Hagan