By Aaron Brown, Crosswalk.com
“Don’t question God. Never question God.”
That’s a line from my childhood, one of many Bible teachings I received as a kid that I have to unlearn as an adult. The underlying message adults were teaching me was not to worry. That’s valid.
Jesus was very adamant at Mount Sinai that worrying served no beneficial purpose (Matthew 6:25-34). Great news for this anxiety-prone person!
But then there was the other issue – don’t question God. How can I seek a greater understanding without questioning God? James, Jesus’ brother, said that we should seek God for wisdom (James 1:5). No wisdom is gained without first questioning. Isn’t that how students learn?
Then I came across Psalm 13. I read in David’s words how worry threatened to overwhelm him. He questioned God, more than once. And David did not ask a simple question like, “Why is this happening?” His questioning of God was intense, emotional, maybe even accusatory. David was definitely a man in trouble and wanted God’s help.
“How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?
How long will I store up anxious concerns within me, agony in my mind every day? How long will my enemy dominate me?” (Psalm 13:1-2)
The year 2020 brought major hardship into my life. I was dumped, abandoned by friends, isolated by the government shutdown, and switched jobs after being furloughed. I even moved. The year marked a lot of transition, a lot of change – most unwanted – and with the pandemic still in effect, isolation never ended.
I’m not alone in my suffering, either. People around me, and people they know, have suffered the sting of death, sickness, breakups, broken relationships, loneliness, and more.
What are we to do when our troubles feel so plentiful and our deliverance seems so far away? We can make our plea to God. That’s what David did.
“Consider me and answer, Lord my God. Restore brightness to my eyes; otherwise, I will sleep in death.
My enemy will say, “I have triumphed over him,” and my foes will rejoice because I am shaken.” (Psalm 13:3-4)
David’s plea acknowledges that God is in control of all circumstances. This is good news for us. No matter what we face, we can pray to a God who will offer deliverance. No problem is too big for God. Another truth alluded to in David’s words is God’s care for him. David says, “my God,” and even quotes what his enemies will say if they win. God in His love will not allow that to happen. If God loves us too, then that’s all the more reason to lay our concerns before Him.
Effectively, instead of vying for control, David chose to trust.
“But I have trusted in your faithful love; my heart will rejoice in your deliverance.
I will sing to the Lord because he has treated me generously.” (Psalm 13:5-6)
Without feeling the deliverance, David was confident that deliverance would come. God would act, in time. When we choose to trust God, we ask questions of Him, knowing that He will answer in time. And that time could be the present life, or not.
Trust means letting God guide us through the unknown. Eventually, we will come out through the other side, all because of His “faithful love.”
Needless to say, Psalm 13 has become my most quoted and most used Bible passage. Now, I desire to share this message with you.
If the past year represents a season of hardship for you that is still not over, here are some prayers. Prayers for loneliness, fear, sickness – even loss. May these words grant you or someone you know peace, comfort, and the reassuring reminder that God is present.
His deliverance will come.
Deliverance from Loneliness
I am struggling. The ongoing quarantine has broken my spirit. I spend so much time alone, so much time at home. I don’t see people as much as I used to. Only my troubles seem to keep me company. Where are the people meant for my life? Where are those that will keep me company? I want to serve you with a whole heart, but the isolation I feel keeps distracting me.
Please see me God. Please see my desire for companionship. I want to see my family again, my friends. God, please don’t let me remain alone. I know that you are always present with me. Scripture tells me so, but God, sometimes I feel the need to be with someone physically. Sometimes I could use a hug, someone to talk to in person.
I just don’t know what to do sometimes. Not enough things can distract from the void I feel inside. God, you know what’s best for my life. If this is where you want me, then please help me to endure. But when the time is right to reconnect with others, please help me to do so. Please guide me in connecting with the right people, those who will help restore brightness to my eyes. Until then, please keep me company. Please help me to feel your presence every single day.
Thank you, Lord.
Deliverance from Fear
I know what Scripture says, but how can I not be afraid, God? How can I look at what’s happening in my country and in the world and not worry? There’s sickness, violence, and hate, seemingly everywhere. Am I next, God? Or someone I love?
I apologize for my fear, my worry, my anxiety. Please forgive me. God, I seek you now. Help me to replace those fears with your biblical truths. You told me you would never leave me nor forsake me. Help me to believe, Lord. Please assuage my unbelief.
Your Word is true. My fears are false. Help me to trade my “what ifs” for “God wills.” You are bigger than anything my mind can make up. I know this, but sometimes I forget.
Remind me, God. Remind me of your power, your mercy, and your love. You will deliver me. There is no need for me to be afraid. Deliver me, God.
Deliverance from Sickness
The world is sick and in need of healing. The news constantly reminds me of the people dying, and those that are sick. I worry about my loved ones, and myself. Heal us God. Heal those who are sick and protect those who have avoided the virus so far.
I ask that you help my country and the world to get past this pandemic. Show us how to move forward and return to a sense of normalcy while remaining safe. Never in my lifetime have I witnessed such a worldwide catastrophe. Yet, God, I know that no problem is bigger than you. There is no sickness you cannot heal.
Please bring us comfort with that knowledge. Please bring us healing.
Deliverance from Loss
Death abounds in so many places. Every time I turn on the TV, I hear numbers of people dying. God, I could be next. I’ve already lost people. Some I have lost contact with; others have passed away. Why God? Why are you letting this happen?
I know you have a greater purpose, but I come before you so confused. Did so many have to die? Did those I love have to leave this Earth right now?
I want to understand. And God, I want to be at peace – peace with where I am in life, and peace with those who are gone. I beseech you, God, to heal me. Heal the wounds, take away the sad thoughts. I keep mourning and I just want to be happy again.
Your Word makes clear that those who mourn will be happy in the end. That truth comforts me now, but my deliverance feels so far away. Please deliver me from my losses. Please get me through this.
Thank you for hearing my prayer. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Moostocker
Aaron Brown is a freelance writer, dance teacher, and visual artist. He currently contributes articles to GodUpdates, GodTube, iBelieve, and Crosswalk. Aaron also supports clients through the freelance platform Upwork.