From Pouting to Shouting
How Long, O Lord? How Long?
How many times have you asked that question? It’s probably a question that most, if not every believer has asked. It seems if we knew when our trial would end we would never grow weary or complain, but when it goes on and on with no end is when we start to ask the Lord, How Long?
In Psalm 13, David starts out with the same question. He is discouraged. He is in despair. He asks the Lord 4 times How Long, but gets no answer.
How long will you forget me, Lord? Forever? How long will you look the other way when I am in need? How long must I be hiding daily anguish in my heart? How long shall my enemy have the upper hand? Answer me, O Lord my God; give me light in my darkness lest I die. Don’t let my enemies say, “We have conquered him!” Don’t let them gloat that I am down. But I will always trust in you and in your mercy and shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord because he has blessed me so richly. Psalm 13:1-6
David receives silence when he cries out to the Lord. I know David isn’t the only one that feels like his prayers and questions are unanswered and delayed. In a recent sermon on Psalm 13, I love what Tim Dilena says, “Delays show how mature you are.” How are you choosing to react to your delays? Are you using them to edify your walk with Christ, or are you throwing tantrums like a young child?
There is a quote by Oswald Chambers that says, “Has God trusted you with His silence— a silence that has great meaning? God’s silences are actually His answers. His silence is the sign that He is bringing you in a more wonderful understanding of Himself.” Isn’t that the truth? Isn’t it in the trials and God’s silence where we grow more dependent on Him and gain better understanding of who He is?
If you are anything like me, you are always in a hurry, but God doesn’t work that way. He is always right on time. He is never early and He is never late. He uses the silence, the wait, the trials, the hardships, and the suffering for our good. His delays are not His denials, but instead we grow more mature while waiting.
In Psalms 13:5, David goes from desperation to encouragement. He goes from pouting to shouting praises. There is a shift that takes place and he realizes that he does trust God. He decides to sing praises to the Lord for He is good. It’s ok to ask the Lord ‘How Long?’, but are you spending more time pouting or shouting? Choose to turn your pouts into shouts of joy and praise to the Lord.