If it isn’t the threat of a nuclear or biological attack, the current economic crisis has provided an additional avenue for people to worry over. For believers, these possibilities are just another stumbling block used by Satan to sway them away from being effective witnesses for God. You personally might even be suffering from the effects of this economy, from loss of job or even your entire life savings. You simply start to believe that people are out to get you while others have chosen to abandon you; at times you think that God has forsaken you. The heart slips into a discouraging state and cries out in desperation. Similarly, King David was plunged into the depths of despair and was not afraid to write about it:

How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I take counsel in my soul
and have sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?

(Psalm 13:1-2)

We can relate, for with David we cry out “How long, O Lord?” This is the paradigm for believers in distress: for the Spirit reassures us of His presence, yet we understand that deliverance can only come on His time. In short-term situations believers simply persist in their faith; however, long-term trials begin to slowly eat away at the believer’s moorings until despair sets in. It is in these times that we ask, “How long, O Lord?”

How do we overcome the battle? Prayer:

Consider and answer me, O Lord my God;
light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,
lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,”
lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.

(Psalm 13:3-4)

Above all else, we must pray about our feelings of abandonment. We must pray with a sense of urgent consistency: ask God to consider you; ask God to answer you; ask God to provide light and restoration. Remember what Paul wrote in his letter to the church in Rome, “we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” (Romans 5:3-5). It is precisely through the toughest of trials that faith is solidified and hope is born. It is through agonizing times such as these that God’s heart is revealed and presents itself to us in love.

But I have trusted in your steadfast love;
my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord,
because he has dealt bountifully with me.

(Psalm 13:5-6)

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