‘When the going gets tough the tough get going’ was a massive hit for Billy Ocean in 1986.The question is what do you and I do when the going gets tough?!
I love the Psalms and I’ve found Psalm 13 to be particularly inspirational during tough times.
‘How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? Look on me and answer, Lord my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death, and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,” and my foes will rejoice when I fall. But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me.’ (Psalm 13:1-6)
I guess most of us have experienced some pretty tough times. My heart goes out to you right now if you feel like David did (author). Maybe you feel that God has forgotten you, is even ignoring you and generally doesn’t seem to care about your situation. Possibly you are wrestling with your thoughts and are trying to get your head around why things are the way they are. My heart and my prayers go out to you.
We all experience darks days. I’ve been through many of them. I’ve experienced loss, bereavement, personal attacks, disappointment and times where it appears that God has disappeared to look after one of his other galaxies! I’ve experienced times wherein I simply haven’t known which way to turn and in fact everything I have tried doesn’t seem to make a shred of difference. ‘What are you playing at God?!’ has been my cry!
I guess for some of us we’ve experienced or are experiencing people who oppose us. Maybe right now you have someone in your world who has become your enemy. It’s a horrible place to be and even worse when you’ve been crying out to God and nothing seems to be changing. I’ve been there more than once and understand how tough that is. To be honest, what makes it worse, is that when faced by some godless enemies, you can almost sense their pleasure and longing for your downfall! That is the definitely the time to cry ‘Look on me and answer, Lord my God. Give light to my eyes’
The NLT puts it like this: ‘Turn and answer me, O LORD my God! Restore the sparkle to my eyes, or I will die.’ (Psalms 13:3 NLT)
Help Is At Hand
During those really tough moments we need something extra from God. I believe that if we ask Him – He will supply that fresh energy, desire, hope and the joy that restores the sparkle. After all the ‘joy of the Lord is our strength’ (Neh. 8:10). Don’t be afraid to ask for something from God at a time when you have nothing left.
During tough times our faith is really tested and examined. I remember my mother saying to me years ago ‘At times when your faith is severely tested you have to cling onto God with your fingernails if necessary.’ This is so true! Somehow, can I encouarge you – hang on to God, somehow – because you can be sure – The Lord is near and his salvation is close.
I believe David helps us to grasp this:
‘But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me.’
Trust Even When It’s Tough To Trust
There is so much packed into this amazing final verse. The key is to trust. Everything depends upon us trusting in our Father God. He is the God, (get this!) who has never let anyone down, never forgotten anyone and who isn’t about to make you His first victim. So trust Him. Simply trust Him (ask Him to help you trust if you’re struggling to right now). Rejoice in His salvation in the past. Remember that beyond your initial salvation there will have been many other times, both known and unknown, when he has rescued you, protected you, provided for you and looked after you. Rejoice in the impending salvation. It is close!
David encouraged himself in the midst of a really tough time. How – by remembering the God who had saved him many times before. In fact, he made a choice to remember those times: ‘I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me.’
It’s a great Psalm full of honest and reality. I love the way The Message concludes it:
‘I’ve thrown myself headlong into your arms— I’m celebrating your rescue. I’m singing at the top of my lungs, I’m so full of answered prayers.’ (Psalm 13:5-6 MSG)
I hope this helps and encourages you. If it has then any not use one of the social media buttons and share it so that someone else can be encouraged in their darkest hour. God bless!
Simon, I like the nature/feeling tone of your recent posts, so I subscribed today. If you are interested, you could check out my website at penetratingthedarkness.com Today (1/12) there is a connectivity problem trying to get to it, at least for me, but someone is working on that. My blog covers issues of depression & faith. Keep on serving strong! Terry Powell
Terry – my humble apologies – I must have missed this. Thanks for subscribing. I will take a look at your site. See you on Twitter my friend. God bless you!
I stumbled upon this post as I was googling “when the going gets tough”. It was very encouraging. Thank you for these words. After I read the part about David encouraging himself in the Lord, I went and read that whole chapter (1 Sam. 30) of David’s discouragement and subsequent victory, and was encouraged even more. When you have nothing left, ask Heavenly for something. God bless.
Thank you Dee – that’s so encouraging to hear. Hope things have improved for you. God bless!