Hopeless to Hopefilled
Has anyone ever been forgotten before? Maybe just ignored? It’s not really a very good experience. Maybe someone forgot your birthday? Maybe everyone was asked to go out except for you. It’s never a pleasant experience.
What may make it even worse is you’re going through a tough time and this just adds to it. It’s more weight on already overloaded shoulders. You begin to just feel…alone.
I remember a time when I first had first started teaching. I taught beginning trumpet, french horn, and percussion. My primary instrument is trumpet, so it makes sense that I would teach it.
Well, my first year I really was not great at it. I remember our head director saying David, “Their range isn’t anywhere close to where it needs to be right now. Work on that. I would, I’d feel like it was getting better.” Then it was David, “They have a really bad tone.” and then David, they can’t read music as well as they need to. I was doing a pretty poor job apparently. I kept putting my head down. Plowing through things. It was stressing me out though.
I would go home and wonder what I was going to do. How could I fix these issues? A bad group of kids will affect my middle school band the next year, and the High School band a couple after. I just knew I was a terrible teacher and there was nothing I could do about it.
After being overwhelmed I finally did what I felt like was “caving” and asked for help. “Dan, I’m obviously not doing great. Come take the class and show me what I need to do differently.”
Of course he looked at me and said “David you worthless good for nothing man!” No! He said yeah. I’d gladly help. If you need help, make sure and ask. That’s part of being a good teacher.
David feeling that hopelessness that I was, but on a much grander scale. He’s struggling. So he writes this Psalm to express what he’s feeling, what he’s doing, and what he’s going to do. We’re going to take a look at this poem written by the anointed king, but not yet King on the throne, David.
Cry of Anguish (13:1-2)
Cry of Anguish (13:1-2)
David declared his hopelessness!
David Is in a state of hopelessness. - He was a great hero in the kingdom. People loved him. People sang songs about him. He loved his country. He loved his king. He loved God! So why were things so rough for him? Why is he on the run from King Solomon who wants to kill him? Why is he sleeping in caves and having to work hard to survive? It’s lonely and hard. When he writes, he has all of this behind him.
David expresses his feelings to God clearly. He feels God has forgotten him. And for a long time.
He uses rhetorical questions- How long will you forget me?
4 times he ask “How long?” He feels like he’s been going at this for a long time.
He Ask, will you forget me forever. Other translations translate that as ignore me. The fact that David was crying out to God showed that he knew God hadn’t truly forgotten him. He wasn’t truly ignoring him. If so, what good would crying out to him do?
The obvious answer is, the Lord will not forget him forever. He didn’t feel that way though.
How long will you hide your face from me. Or we might say, how long will you turn your back to me? He felt like God wanted nothing to do with him.
He said he was taking counsel in his soul. That is to say, David was devising plans to get out of his situation constantly, but to no avail. He was trapped with his thoughts and couldn’t get away. And it brought him down. Not just at night when he sat still. That’s often the case with us. Were OK with a situation until were at home in bed, lying in the dark, waiting for sleep to come. It was with him during the day. Daily it says. That word can mean during the daylight. It was an always thing.
David felt his enemies were defeating him. The people who didn’t want to see him succeed were getting exactly what he wanted. These men who didn’t love God or live right were getting the victory. After all, he was hiding in a hot cave using a rock for a pillow. He was hopeless!
Illustration- Morgan works with parents and children regularly. Sometimes she has to have hard conversations such as, your child will likely not overcome this communication problem, or your child may be autistic. Those can be difficult words to handle. Especially when mom and dad have been searching for help for so long. Those parents are overcome with grief, loneliness, and hopelessness. They feel isolated like no one can help them, and no one cares. Some one does though. They’re talking to someone like Morgan who does care. Someone with some experience in these areas. Some one who can help direct them and help navigate these unsure waters. That’s the boat David was in. He was crying out saying I feel alone to the very One who was there for him.
I think a lot of us can relate to David. It’s possible that someone in this room right now feels just like David. You feel as if you’re alone. You may be in the middle of a fight that you’ve ben in for a long time and feel like it will never stop. Perhaps just like David, you’re in your head all the time trying to figure out a way to fix it but can’t. You’re down and can’t get up.
Two things we get from these verses-
You can express to God how you feel. You can declare your hopelessness, and your frustration, and your fear. Our God is a big God and will be able to handle your words. I promise. David more than once is was very honest and straight forward with God. God didn’t reach down and break him. Just so you know, He already knows how you feel. It will help you, “Get things off your chest.” as they say.
One of the most helpful things therapist do is listen to people while they talk and express hurts, helps, and all manner of things. It helps people to wade through their feelings and experiences. Same things for us.
Know that God is there for you. David knew God would hear. That’s why he cried out. If God wasn’t listening, what would be the point. We have to realize that even though we may feel like God has turned his back on us, or He’s ignoring us. That’s not the case. He loves you and is listening. He hears you when you cry out.
Cry For Help
Cry For Help
David Cried out for help
He begins by saying Consider and help me. Or some translation say, Turn to me. Look at me and listen! Help me please my God. He switched from speaking his sorrow to asking for help. David expressed his situation, his need, then proceeded to ask for help.
Enlighten my eyes is a funny phrase though isn’t it? That’s like saying the lights are going dim. I’m fading. Or in David’s case…I’m dying. When he ask to have his eyes enlightened he’s asking God, “Give me new strength. Restore my vigor. Give me back that twinkling in my eye.”
David had good reason to be weak. He was being chased by his best friend’s dad. Talk about making a relationship a bit stressed. David was constantly on the run because this person who used to love him, now hates him. He hates him to the point he wants him dead. David was living well as a soldier of the king and now has nothing to call his own. He’s hungry. He’s tired. He’s scared. I’m sure David had lost that spark he had.
Give me that strength or else my enemies will beat me, and they will celebrate when I’ve fallen. Don’t give them that! David was faithful servant of God. David was the rightful anointed King of Israel. David says, don’t let your man be defeated by people who don’t serve you God.
Illustration- One of the great things about working with young people is their determination. As I’ve taught music throughout the years I’ve seen kids get behind, become frustrated, discouraged, and angry. I’ve also had those same students come to me and say, “Mr. Cadena, can you please show me how to do this. What am I doing wrong? How can I fix it? Tell me what I need to do! It wasn’t, can you give me something easier. I’m just going to quit. It was give me the tools to do this! That’s a fantastic response. Same as David had.
David shows a response we should Mirror. Ask God for help! You’ll notice David asked for renewed strength. He asked for the strength to overcome the issue. The strength to endure. It wasn’t simply God remove this.
That’s a thought echoed in the new testament too. James says to ask for wisdom in trials. The wisdom to make the right decisions to deal with it. The wisdom to know what to do and what not to do? Why not make the problem go away? James and Paul both state that those trial build faith and make you stronger. They help you to become more Christ-like when you respond correctly. That’s what David is asking in this emotionally driven and hopeless state.
When we’re hopeless, ask God for the strength to overcome it and make it through. Ask for God’s help and guidance to make the good decisions required for the issue. Know that God uses these times to help us become more reliant on him. To make us look more like Jesus. To strengthen our faith.
We’ve seen David cry out in hopelessness. We’ve seen him cry out for help. Now we see him cry out in hope.
Cry of Hope
Cry of Hope
1. David proclaimed his hope!
David starts off these verses with a shift in attitude. It’s as if the clouds rolled back and the sunlight began to shine though.
He began by saying He’s trusted in God’s mercy. That can also be translated as mercy, or steadfast love. David trusted in God’s merciful love toward him. God was faithful to David even when David wasn’t faithful to God. Through God’s faithfulness to him he had defeated bears, lions, and Giants. David knew God loved him and would take care of him.
This prompted David to rejoice! David hadn’t been delivered yet. He knew God would take care of him though.
He was going to sing because the lord has dealt bountifully with him. That is to say God had been good to him. David knew God had been good, and would continue to be good!
David was showing his confident hope in God. It’s as if he was saying, things are bad, help me. I know things will be good though. God is good. He’s been good. He’ll continue to be good. He’s helped me and will help again!
David’s spirits were lifted knowing that even though God hadn’t moved yet, he would. He rejoiced because he knew God wasn’t turning his back on him. God was there. And He would move.
Out of David’s confidence in God hope emerged in the midst of hopelessness.
2. Illustration- This is a concept many have experienced on a much smaller scale. For instance, I’ve been a Cowboys fan for as long as i can remember. There’s been good, bad, and everything in between in my lifetime. Over the last few years the bods haven’t been super consistent. Romo has been injured a fair amount. Whenever he was playing, the Cowboys would win more games. Last year of course was the exception. When Romo was out, you’d watch and hope for the best and cheer your team on. A few weeks go by, a lot of disappointment and just sadly accepting the “Well, there’s always next year.” Then you hear, Romo may be back soon. Trainers say he had some limited practice. Then you start doing the math and realize if you win the season out there’s still a chance. Once Romo comes back, there’s a real possibility! You dump that negative and down attitude for, “We’re going all the way. Romo is back!” You have hope because the leadership needed is coming back. So, if as a sport fan you can have that kind of faith and change of demeanor because of a man, surely you can have it in life because of God!
3. Have hope in God!
Just like David gained hope in God, you should too. I imagine David took a look back and remembered how God had delivered him from so many situations. David wasn’t a stranger to hopeless situations. As a small boy an entire army felt scared and helpless. David, through his confidence in God defeated a giant.
What has God done for you in your past? How has God worked? In my life he’s been there for me. I’ve never been abandoned. That should give confidence to move forward. That should give strength in the moment. It should give hope.
From that hope, praise should be given. David was confident of victory even though it hadn’t been given. It moved him to praise.
Praise God. It’s a command that he gives. We see we should praise God when times are good. When things are going fine we should praise. When things are bad, we should give praise. Why? We have a loving God who is there for us, and who gives us hope in the future. Confidence in our final destination. Security in our eternity.
Yes, there will be a time we encounter just like David. A time where things may feel hopeless. Don’t be fooled by it. So how do we go from hopeless to hope-filled? You can cry out to God how you feel. You should ask him for help. You should know that he will be there. Why? Because he loves you. You can depend on him for that. He’s been there. He will be there. And he will work on your behalf. So when hopeless times comes, you fight them with the hope you have in Christ Jesus!