“But I have trusted in Your mercy; my heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. I will sing to the LORD because He has dealt bountifully with me.” Psalm 13:5–6

There are many good people who believe in luck. I suppose it is because the human mind is wired to look for patterns. Some events happen to fall in such a way that our brain sees a pattern and we turn to luck to explain things. I am sure you have heard the expression, “It’s just my luck that….”

Believing in luck and becoming superstitious go hand in hand. Your innate search for patterns leads to your belief in “lucky” things, like a rabbit’s foot or a medal of a saint. “Unlucky” things like black cats, bad omens, or the number 13 are a fool’s distractions. Coleman Cox is credited with saying, “I am a great believer in luck, the harder I work, the more of it I seem to have.” We might as well get used to it, there is no such thing as “luck” in the day to day events but that of your own making, good or bad.

There is no such entity as “luck” bestowing bounties on some and withholding from others. This is an especially poignant maxim for a Christian. A Christian is uniquely loved by His all-knowing, all-powerful heavenly Father. His choosing of you has absolutely nothing to do with luck, it is all of grace. Such a heavenly Father surely will leave nothing to chance in your life. There is no room for superstitious notions or feeble explanations of life when you know you are the object of God’s love.

In times of discouragement, when the mind is doing its usual search for patterns and explanations, it is wise to turn to Psalm 13. Do not let the number fool you, it is not unlucky, it is anything but! Perhaps this number with a spurious reputation may help you remember the gems of truth God has for you when you are discouraged!

David was not unaccustomed to seasons of bad times, and he was also the recipient of good fortune. But we never hear one hint in his writings that he thought he had good or bad luck. Instead we are treated to a constant stream of revelation about his relationship with God. Lean times and fat times, in weal or in woe, David carries his burdens to the Lord and he carries away hope and blessing in exchange.

Psalm 13 is especially valuable when believers face lonely times in “desert places.” MacArthur study Bible provides an interesting outline for this six-verse psalm: verses 1 and 2, “Below Sea Level” Expressions of Despair; verses 3 and 4, “Sea Level” Expressions of Desires; and verses 5 and 6, “Mountaintop Level” Expressions of Delight. The psalm does rise from the depths of desperation through dolorous prayer to the heights of faith in praise. David’s psalm moves from “how long,” to “give me light,” to “let me sing.”

Any believer who has lived long enough runs through rough patches. Some bad times may be of long duration. Thoughts begin to crowd into the mind and drown out the fires of faith. Questions gain a voice like “Father, how long before you remember me?” or “How long before you restore my fellowship with you?” or “How long before you give me rest?” and “How long before you vindicate my faith in you?” These questions are echoed in David’s first two verses.

The significance of David’s words are underscored by invoking the name Jehovah. God’s covenant-keeping and special relationship with His people is revealed in that name. “How long, O LORD?” is certainly a familiar refrain in the hearts of many of God’s people throughout the centuries. The four anxious questions put words to David’s depression borne out of impatience. “Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? How long will my enemy be exalted over me?”

Perhaps similar sentiments are washing over your soul today. Thoughts run through the fevered mind chasing each other, one after another. God’s hidden face is associated with alienation and curse while His shining face is associated with blessing. In this “below sea-level” anxiety and despair, David’s lesson is to look up from the cares that overwhelm you toward the Lord of Light! These “how long” questions will only serve to act as a parachute for a believer, slowing his descent. Intercession is the updraft that enables a believer to gain altitude in trying times.

There is no faltering in David’s voice in verses 3 and 4. “Consider and hear me, O LORD my God; enlighten my eyes….” Jehovah is still his focus, but the relationship of the servant to his Master is in the words “O LORD my God.” God is his caregiver, provider, and helper. God answers prayer; never lose hope in His character and His love for your soul. What you are going through is not bad luck, it is the refiner’s fire.

David continues to move upward, now not in an updraft but with wings, “But I have trusted in Your mercy; my heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. I will sing to the LORD, because He has dealt bountifully with me.” When cares of life weigh you down, take time to trust, rejoice in your salvation, count God’s blessings, and do some singing with a full heart of thanksgiving. Take courage, God will retrieve you from the refiner’s fire in His time. Trust and obey.