January 8

Written by Bill Grandi on January 8th, 2019

Ever since I read Wisdom Hunter by Randall Arthur in 1993-1995 for the first and second time, I have always been stopped by Psalm 13. There was a scene in the book where Yoma (a wise old man) led Jason (the main character) through this psalm. No matter how many times I read Psalms, I ponder this chapter because it made things so clear to me years ago and still does. Here is how it breaks down:

  • Verse 1a: “How long, O Lord, will you forget me forever?” And yet...
  • Verse 5a: “I have trusted in your steadfast love.”
  • Verse 1b: “How long will you hide your face from me?” And yet...
  • Verse 6b: “because he has dealt bountifully with me.”
  • Verse 2a: “How long must I take counsel in my soul?”  And yet...
  • Verse 6a: “I will sing to the Lord.”
  • Verse 2b: “How long shall my enemy be exalted over me? And yet…
  • Verse 5b: “My heart shall rejoice in your salvation.”

The difference, or so-called discrepancy, is not in David’s words: it is in my perception. Plainly put: it is the difference between faith and feelings. In the first two verses David felt those things, but in the last two verses David knew (believed) God was somehow good. His perception based on his feelings were deceptive and incomplete; whereas reality was true: God was there. God was/is involved in David’s life.

He is in mine as well. While at times it may appear not to be so, perception/feelings lie. They don’t tell the whole story.

“Father, I can’t trust my feelings. They lie. They deceive. They are incomplete. The truth is You are way more than my feelings. You are way more than my perception. Help me to believe you, not trust in my feelings. Help me, like David, to believe.”



7 Comments so far ↓

  1. Ryan S says:

    How true this is. Feelings are deceptive. I must remember that I am not perfect. I am broken in need of repair. That includes my feelings, my motivations, mywants, my desires. In my broken state, the focus is me and my energy is focused on satisfying my feelings, my wants my expectations. Sound like David dealt with some of the same issues I deal with. Thanks for the insight.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      As you have figured out feelings have their focus on “me.” And I agree: David dealt with some of the same issues we do. Thanks Ryan

  2. I absolutely love how you broke this Psalm down, Bill, and delineated between faith and feelings. No, our feelings cannot be trusted, but we can lean upon God with absolute trust and faith that He will provide for us in all things.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Thanks Martha but I wish I could take the credit. As you will see when you read WH, this is a crucial part of Jason’s growth and learning. It was in mine. The basics of this were from that section. I put it in “my way of seeing.” Can’t wait to hear how you like the book!

  3. The Psalms are our spiritual psychology book, showing bipolar tendencies in not only the writer but in the reader. One minute God is ever present and the next he is apparently MIA. One minute you hear a cry for forgiveness, the next a curse on your enemy. I’ve looked often to the Psalms to help me understand human nature – particularly my own nature – and how vulnerable we are to our feelings. I do believe that feelings are God-given as well, that they are meant to teach. Christ displayed every spectrum of emotion as well, from anger to tears.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Can’t say I have looked at Psalms that way Debra. I too believe God has given us feelings but I am saying to trust them over truth is not good.

  4. floyd samons says:

    Wow. Nice lesson! “He works all things together for His perfect will.”

    Thanks for the reminder.