King David wrote, “I will sing to the LORD because he has been so good to me” (Psalm 13:6). We could look at his life and say, “Yeah, I’d sing, too, if I was royalty and as wealthy as he was.”
Before we’re too unsympathetic, let’s step inside his head for a moment and see how he really felt sometimes: “O LORD, how long will you forget me? Forever? How long will you look the other way? How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul, with sorrow in my heart every day? How long will my enemy have the upper hand? Turn and answer me, O LORD my God! Restore the light to my eyes, or I will die” (vv.1-3).
David may have been a king, but he endured a lot of difficulties and sometimes felt as though God had abandoned him. In the midst of his trials, however, he kept his perspective right: “But I will trust in your unfailing love. I will rejoice because you have rescued me” (v. 5). His heart, burdened with troubles, could sing because he looked beyond the tough stuff and focused on God’s goodness in his life.
Can we do the same? Can we sing to the Lord when our teenagers make lousy choices that carry far-reaching consequences? Can we sing when tragedy strikes? Can we sing when our finances take a nosedive, or when our dreams and hopes disintegrate?
The very thought of singing to the Lord in the midst of trials sounds ludicrous. As difficult as it may seem, however, it is possible. Even when we don’t understand or appreciate the direction our lives take, we can trust in God’s unfailing love and rejoice because He has promised to rescue us. We can sing because His goodness never fails. We can sing because He’s able to work all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. We can sing because His purposes are eternal, and because His presence is always with us.
Next time you feel like God has forgotten you, make a list of the things about which you can sing. Then do it. Read that list aloud to God and thank Him for His goodness. Guaranteed – your heart will be filled with joy and hope, and others around you will be blessed.