Psalms – How Long Lord?

Troubles and Complaints in Psalms!


Psalms – How Long Lord


We can relate to the psalms because they express our feelings. We all face troubles, as did the psalm writers thousands of years ago, and we often respond as they did.


How long will you forget me, Lord? Forever?
    How long will you hide your face from me?
How long will I be left to my own wits,
    agony filling my heart? Daily?
How long will my enemy keep defeating me?
Look at me!
    Answer me, Lord my God!
Restore sight to my eyes!
    Otherwise, I’ll sleep the sleep of death,
         and my enemy will say, “I won!”
        My foes will rejoice over my downfall.
But I have trusted in your faithful love.
    My heart will rejoice in your salvation.
Yes, I will sing to the Lord
    because he has been good to me.

Psalm 13 (CEB)


In Psalm 3, David told God how he felt about the odds against him. But within three verses, the king realized that God’s presence and care made the odds meaningless.


This experience is repeated in many of the psalms. Usually the hope and confidence and God outweigh the fear and suffering; sometimes they do not. Still, the psalm writers consistently poured out their thoughts and emotions to God.


  • When they felt abandoned by God, they told him so.
  • When they were impatient with how slowly God seemed to be answering their prayers, they also told him so. Because they recognized the difference between themselves and God, they were free to be human and to be honest with their Creator.


That is why so many of the dark psalms end in the light. The psalm writers started by expressing their feelings and ended up remembering to whom they were speaking!


Although we have much in common with these writers, we may differ in two ways:


  • We might not tell God what we are really thinking and feeling;
  • Therefore, we also might not recognize, even faintly, who is listening to our prayers!


Notice this pattern as you read Psalms, and put the writers’ insights to the test. You may well find that your awareness and appreciation of God will grow, as you are honest with him.


(See Psalm 3; 6; 13; 31; 37; 64; 77; 102; 142)


NLT Chronological Life Application Study Bible



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