4 Minute Read + Scripture readings

(If you want to listen to an audio version of today’s blog post, simply go to https://anchor.fm/mattellis1997, or search for “Reflections on Truth” by Matt Ellis wherever you download your favorite podcasts.)

Today’s Bible Reading:

1 Samuel 1
Romans 1
Jeremiah 39
Psalms 13-14

Today’s Bible Verse(s):

Psalm 13:5-6 (CSB): “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.”

Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):

God values honesty in prayer. Over and over, we read verses in the Psalms that demonstrate that the psalmist was honest, sometimes brutally honest, with his God. How did God respond? He called him “a man after my own heart” (Acts 13:22).

But the Psalmist didn’t get stuck in pouring out his heart to God. After “casting all of his cares upon the Lord” (1 Peter 5:7), he often ended his prayer-time with praise. That’s what I want to briefly highlight here.

As we read Psalm 13, we realize that it is yet another Psalm that begins with honest questions. The unspoken question is: “God, why aren’t you doing anything about my problem?”

Psalm 13:1–2 “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?”

Notice that the psalmist is honest. He feels it in his heart and so he’s telling his God about it. Anything less than honesty with what’s going on in his heart is hypocrisy.

But, the psalmist doesn’t end here. This is honest praying and it is to be commended. But, it doesn’t demonstrate much faith. Faith doesn’t simply acknowledge what is – it trusts in the God who can change what is to what should or could be.

That’s what we see as the prayer of Psalm 13 comes to an end. As the psalmist prepares to say “Amen,” he exercises his faith to believe that God has heard and will answer his prayer. God hasn’t yet fixed the psalmist’s problem but faith looks to the future and enjoys the answered prayer before it comes.

Psalm 13:5–6 “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.”

Friend, God doesn’t simply desire for our prayers to be honest – He also wants us to demonstrate faith.

What happens if we exercise faith and our prayer still remains unanswered? Repeat the process! Be honest with the Lord about your questions and exercise faith in Him and in what you are asking Him to do.

So, as you continue to read the Psalms, be a student and take notes on how those men prayed. Let your discoveries inform and change your own prayers.

* * * * * * * * * *

Lord Jesus, thank You that I don’t have to blindly grope for how I should live my life as a Jesus-follower. Thank You that You have given me Your Word so that I can read its instruction and observe the men and women who grappled with how to follow and obey You. From their examples, I can be a much more informed and passionate prayer warrior. Please help me in this life-long endeavor. Amen.