There is but one word that remains in each of these three translations of Psalm 13:5. Take a look:
But I trust in your unfailing love my heart rejoices in your salvation. NIV
But I trust in your grace, my heart rejoices as you bring me to safety. Complete Jewish Bible
But I have trusted in your mercy; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. NKJV
Did you catch my little joke? In each translation of Psalm 13:5, the conjunction ‘but’ begins the verse. English 101 would tell us that a conjunction is a word that introduces a new idea or topic that contrasts with what has already been mentioned. The word ‘but’ indicates that the author wants to go in a new direction with his thoughts.
In the case of Psalm 13, you will find the prayer begins in despair. David feels abandoned by his God. His agony and pain are reflected in his words: “How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever?” David prays as if his God has assigned him to oblivion and ruin at the hands of his enemies.
What we see here is a very real and very raw man venting his complaints and worries against his God. We’ve been there, haven’t we? Maybe we are there right now.
We may feel forgotten by our God.
We may feel abandoned to a place, relationship, or position that we desire to be free of…right now. We feel lost and alone. And we don’t envision anything changing anytime soon.
…there is so much more happening than what we see in our relationship or in our situation.
As David prayed out his frustration and consternation with his God, he prayed himself back into a place of remembrance and trust. We do that too. Our prayers begin with earnest pleas for help, healing and salvation. Yet, if we pray long enough, our prayers transform into worship of our God with faith, joy, praise, and sincere thanks.
Why? We acknowledge that the mercy of our God is the foundation of our faith and our hope. We remember His goodness.
But for the mercy, but for the grace, but for the steadfast love of our God, we too, would continue to feel lost in abandon and in despair.
Our God has bound Himself to us with a covenant love and gracious devotion. We can trust that He will lift us out of our hopeless ruin.
Instead of focusing upon our feelings and situation, if we turn our focus to the mercy, love and grace we have in God and His Son Jesus, we can trust that He will see us through this difficult, frustrating, or painful situation. The seat of our courage and our strength are emboldened and helped by our God.
Honestly, we have no idea what the future holds. We have no guarantee that our present challenges will turn out how we want them to; with little impact or without further suffering or even without death. Too often, we want our experiences to be free of pain and difficulty. Yet, these are the very things that bring us even closer to our God as we acknowledge our dependence and our need. We surrender our pride, our vanity and our self-interests.
I am convinced at the core of my being that the young people of today – generations X, Y, Z and the millennial generation need to focus less upon their feelings and what makes them happy, and more upon discovering the mercy and steadfast love of God for themselves. Too many of our young people across the world are giving up or sacrificing their lives as a result of their broken trust in whatever they put their faith in at this impressionable age.
As followers of Christ, we have something that David spoke of in his Psalm 13 prayer that our young people need to hear about.We have the memories of the times, the places and the people in which our God has shown His love, care and mercy. We have the blessings and salvation of those experiences that display the faithfulness of our God. We have the promise that the glory and honor of our Mighty God will be manifested somehow and some way in our lives for a good purpose; a Kingdom purpose. What’s happening right now is not just about us – it’s about so much more!
We may vent or complain or despair for a time over our present situation. That’s human. We may need to get those feelings out. But, that doesn’t mean that we have to remain there. Instead, we remember the blessings, the love, and the goodness of our merciful God and trust Him.
We trust Him.
We trust Him.
We trust Him.
We hand over our troubling circumstances and trust Him. And then we walk forward in faith, joy, and assured salvation singing:
But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing the Lord’s praise,
for he has been good to me. Psalm 13: 5-6 NIV
This is what our hurting, wounded children need to see. They need to observe and understand that we are so much more than our painful circumstances and broken relationships or Facebook posts or Twitter feeds or whatever we put out on the web about ourselves.
We hold securely to our God in good times and in bad, because He holds even more securely and steadfastly to u
So vent for awhile, whine and complain if you need to, but then remember to trust. That’s what our world needs to see and to hear.