The Anguish Of The Soul

Scripture: Psalms 13

1 O LORD, how long will you forget me? Forever? How long will you look the other way?
2 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?
3 Turn and answer me, O LORD my God! Restore the sparkle to my eyes, or I will die.
4 Don’t let my enemies gloat, saying, “We have defeated him!” Don’t let them rejoice at my downfall.
5 But I trust in your unfailing love. I will rejoice because you have rescued me.
6 I will sing to the LORD because he is good to me.


This song was written during David’s flight from Saul. David had been anointed by Samuel the prophet but nothing promising had happened since. David had been waiting and waiting but things seemed to be getting worse not better.

Have you ever been in a situation where you were praying desperately for things to get better and they kept getting worse?

David did the logical thing: He questioned the LORD. Four times in this brief prayer he asked the question HOW LONG?

  • 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? [NIV] How long must I wrestle with my thoughts?
  • How long will my enemy have the upper hand?



David felt forgotten, ignored, struggle to maintain positive thoughts, feeling that the enemy had the upper hand. Even Jesus felt such anguish of soul while He was on the cross for He cried out “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me.”

So, if you are battling this DARK NIGHT OF THE SOUL, do not despair. It happens to all God’s servants.

I Peter 4:12-13

Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world.


Jeremiah said, “The heart is desperately sick, who can trust it.” Do not trust your emotions. Put your faith in God’s word. You are not going to get victory over any of your enemies a part from God’s word.

Jesus taught us by His own example to battle the enemy, temptation, doubt and fear with the word of God. The devil will have a fields day if you go against him in your flesh or emotions.

I’ve been preaching the bible for over 45 years and I have learned the hard way…never trust your emotions or feelings. I preached a similar message to this a few Sunday nights ago at a church in Lawrence County and I felt like a miserable failure. I didn’t feel great about the sermon this morning. I prayed, I prepared but it did not come out the way I wanted. I felt like it was just flat, no emotion, void of spirit. You know what that means…absolutely nothing. I went home the other Sunday night and sat back in my recliner to enjoy a little relaxation and my phone rang. The man on the other end said, “Bro. Jack, I know you have no idea what is going on in my life but the sermon tonight was for me.” My first thought was WOW, GOD IS AN AWESOME GOD.

If you want the sparkle in your eye, if you want a song in the night…you get in God’s word and stop relying on your emotions to carry you.


Remember the scene at Lazarus tomb…Jesus had instructed them to roll the stone aside and Martha interrupted…“Lord, he has been dead for four days. The smell will be terrible.” Jesus…“Didn’t I tell you that you would see God’s glory if you believe?”

So they rolled the stone aside. Then Jesus looked up and prayed and then He shouted, “Lazarus, come out!”

It is not over until Jesus says its over. I believe what Jesus says is ‘so’ even before it is ‘so’, simply because He said ‘so’.

Remember Jacob in Genesis 42:36, when Simeon didn’t come home, he said “Everything is against me.”


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