J.C. Thompson |

Psalm 13 teaches us how to wait on God to fulfill His promises to us.

Summer In The Psalms
Message 4 • Waiting
J.C. Thompson
August 6, 2023

Theme Verse: Isaiah 40:31

Memory Verse: Isaiah 40:31

Prayer Points:

Prayer for strength to endure for those who have been waiting for God to fulfill His promise.

Pray for our church to learn to wrestle with God in prayer and worship as beloved children rather than employees or neighbors.

Pray that God would give us strength and passion to pursue His purposes here on earth.

A. Introduction (Isaiah 40:31)

Isaiah 40:31 (ESV)

but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; ‌

they shall mount up with wings like eagles; ‌

they shall run and not be weary; ‌

they shall walk and not faint.

  • Does anyone else read that and think, how is that possible?
  • Seasons of waiting might be the most excruciating, difficult times that we can encounter and yet, they also provide an opportunity like nothing else for us to receive strength from the Father.
  • Today we will be in Psalm 13 during our series entitled Summer in the Psalms. More than likely, David wrote Psalm 13 in connection with Psalm 12.
  • Psalm 12 speaks of the Lord seeing the suffering of those who have been harmed through violence and the people of God are becoming marginalized. It speaks of the Lord seeing the suffering of those who have been harmed through violence and the people of God are becoming marginalized.
  • Yet, David has not seen God’s answer to His promise yet. He is in a state of waiting. So, he writes this Psalm as a prayer to God as he waits.
  • This Psalm is so translatable for us as we learn to wait on God to fulfill His promises.

B. Waiting... (Psalm 13)

1. FORMS me. (Psalm 13:1-2. C/R: Psalm 27:14; Isaiah 30:18; 43:2; Philippians 4:6-7; 1 John 1:9)

Psalm 13:1-2 (NLT)

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?

  • David uses the phrase “How Long?” 4x in these first two verses. ‌
  • What do you think David’s attitude is in these two verses? ‌
  • Notice what he doesn’t say... He doesn’t say, are you there? He doesn’t say, are you going to do this? He says, how long. This means that David expects God to fulfill His promise.
  • Yet he also is raw with his feelings in his prayer to God. Check out the words that David uses to describe how this waiting is affecting him. Feels forgotten, feels that he isn’t being noticed, that he is experiencing anguish and sorrow. He is being threatened by the enemy, perhaps even experiencing defeat. David is expressing how waiting on God’s promise of victory is affecting Him personally.
  • There is a difference between waiting and whining. David clearly is expressing his emotions in His prayer, but He is not whining or complaining.
  • Notice also that David’s questions line up directly with God’s agenda. David knows the Lord has a purpose for him, he has been anointed as king. He knows that God has a purpose in His people’s flourishing. He is attempting to move God’s heart with his questions.
  • Do we pray this way? David’s prayers are bold, daring even.
  • Ill: It makes me think of children. Do your kids ever ask you for something? How do your kids ask you for things? Do they ever ask you for things you can’t even do? How about things that are even impossible and yet it isn’t even a stretch.
  • We have been asking our youngest about what he wants for his birthday. He thinks about it for a moment and says, “An invisibility cloak”.
  • No hesitation, no doubt that this can happen based on his understanding of the reliability and goodness of his parents.
  • How much more does God want to answer our prayers? How much more does He want to fulfill His promises He has made?
  • Reminds me of this quote from Andrew Murray, one of the OGs on prayer.

Beware in your prayer above everything of limiting God, not only by unbelief but by fancying that you know what he can do.

Andrew Murray

  • David’s faith in God’s fulfilling His promise is never shaken. In fact, it is almost as if David is so filled with faith, that the fact that God hasn’t done it yet is more of the intensity of his prayer that if God is going to do it.
  • David is using his prayers to try and get God to move now. You know I often think our prayers are too tame, too mediocre.
  • Let me ask you a question to put this into perspective. Which do we do more of, pray or complain?
  • We have a loving Father who has promised us a great deal and I think if you spend a lot of time with a lot of Christians, I am not sure that our ratios line up with how the Scriptures model for us to spend our energy.
  • Some of you in this room today are struggling because you don’t have a promise from God. Go get one. Here is a list of a few that you can cling to: Philippians 4:6-7, Isaiah 43:2, James 1:5, 1 John 1:9.
  • Some of you are struggling because you are beaten down, much like David, and need strength to continue to wait on the promise you received from God. Remember this, we gain something from waiting that we cannot gain in any other season. Waiting forms us.‌


2. FORCES wrestling. (Psalm 13:3-4. C/R: Numbers 6:24-26; Psalm 4:6)

Psalm 13:3-4 (NLT)

Turn and answer me, O LORD my God! Restore the sparkle to my eyes, or I will die. Don’t let my enemies gloat, saying, “We have defeated him!” Don’t let them rejoice at my downfall.

  • Waiting can feel like a battle. And it should. I think sometimes our expectation is that when we receive any revelation from God, we need to immediately have it now. But this is the essence of what our faith is, waiting on what we cannot yet see as reality but is just as certain as seeing it right in front of us. (Hebrews 11:1)
  • When we seek to avoid waiting, we are actually seeking to avoid exercising our faith.
  • John Calvin put it this way:

There is no place for faith if we expect God to fulfill immediately what he promises.

John Calvin

  • David asks for 3 things in these two verses.
    • Ask 1: Consider, Take Note, Turn towards me. Pay attention to what is happening to me and Your people.
    • Ask 2: Answer me. Do something. Act. Be present in this situation.
    • Ask 3: Restore the sparkle to my eyes. If You don’t act, I will die.
  • David is praying toward God’s heart. He is speaking truth to God. Let me ask you the questions.
  • Does God see all, especially when it comes to His people, His church? YES.
  • Is God active in our world, moving, shaking, doing things? YES.
  • Does God protect His people, especially if there is still a plan for their lives here on earth? YES.
  • These questions can seem like complaints, but they are all speaking to God of His character and asking Him to move.
  • Don’t let the dreams from God die. If God has truly spoken to you, you might need to wrestle with Him. But often the first step is wrestling with our hearts. Some of your emotions might be on life support today. Your prayer might be that God would shine His face upon you, that God would restore the sparkle to your eyes.
  • Some of you might desperately need an answer, but your desire to find one is pedestrian at best. Put your soul into your prayers and asking with God. His Word says that those who seek Him in this way will find Him.
  • There is a battle in waiting for fear and despair to replace our faith in God. But we must battle against this.


3. FUELS my worship. (Psalm 13:5-6; Hebrews 9:28; C/R: Matthew 26:26-30; 2 Peter 3:12)

Psalm 13:5–6 (NLT)

But I trust in Your unfailing love. I will rejoice because You have rescued me. I will sing to the LORD because He is good to me.

  • David’s worship isn’t wishful thinking. His worship comes from confident hope. David is assured by faith, that God will fulfill His promise.
  • How can he sing when his heart is obviously hurting? That is actually the most necessary time to sing.
  • Some of you in this room have experienced this. You get a diagnosis, you receive heartbreaking news, your college letter doesn’t come through, you don’t get the job, your kid seems beyond the reach of God, you’ve lost a loved one.
  • In these moments of crisis, we have to sing our hearts right. It is why we sing every week. We do not want to get to a place where our hearts are not trained to sing.
  • Did you know that when the Israelites went to battle, the people on the frontlines were the worship leaders?
  • Did you know that the very praises of the people of God, our lives of worship are the center point of the dwelling place of God?

Psalm 22:3 (NLT)

Yet You are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel.

  • When it comes to the throne of kings, they are both immaculately constructed and also separated from the people.
  • Yet God’s throne, His Home, His dwelling place is actually within His people. Our King could not be closer to us. He has made His home within us. When we struggle, we sing, because our God is worthy of praise, He can be trusted, He is good.
  • Our lives, our hearts, our souls, our minds, our strength should be the most incredible throne ever built and we build the throne of God through our worship. Ianthe Pratt said it like this.

Worship can only truly express joy, sorrow, hope, faith, and love if it is firmly rooted in the actual lives and experience of the people who are worshiping.

Ianthe Pratt

What is it that we are worshipping?

Hebrews 9:28 (NLT)

so also Christ was offered once for all time as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people. He will come again, not to deal with our sins, but to bring salvation to all who are eagerly waiting for Him.

  • Christ offered for us, a once and for all sacrifice for your sin. Christ is coming again to bring salvation to those who eagerly wait for Him.
  • Today we are going to have two opportunities to respond in worship.
  • First, we are going to participate in the Lord’s Supper.

Ask for the elements.

Matthew 26:26 (NLT)

As they were eating, Jesus took some bread and blessed it. Then He broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “Take this and eat it, for this is My body.”

  • Eat the bread‌.

Matthew 26:27–28 (NLT)

And He took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. He gave it to them and said, “Each of you drink from it, for this is My blood, which confirms the covenant between God and His people. It is poured out as a sacrifice to forgive the sins of many.

  • Drink the drink‌.

Matthew 26:30 (NLT)

Then they sang a hymn and went out to the Mount of Olives.

Worship is not meant to be a moment in our lives, it is the very life of a Christian. Today, as we close, I want to encourage you to sing. If you have been waiting for the Lord to fulfill His promise, sing in expectation. Sing what is true.

If you are feeling lethargic in your faith, sing to strengthen your faith today. Sing your heart right today.

Let’s join together with our voices loud praising God for His goodness towards us.

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