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Psalm 13:2

ESV How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?
NIV 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?
NASB How long am I to feel anxious in my soul, With grief in my heart all the day? How long will my enemy be exalted over me?
CSB How long will I store up anxious concerns within me, agony in my mind every day? How long will my enemy dominate me?
NLT How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul, with sorrow in my heart every day? How long will my enemy have the upper hand?
KJV How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? how long shall mine enemy be exalted over me?

What does Psalm 13:2 mean?

Crying out in frustration and confusion (Psalm 13:1), David expresses three concerns to God. This is a natural human emotion, one which God understands (Psalm 73:2–3; Habakkuk 1:2–4; Hebrews 4:15–16).

First, David is concerned about the pressure to find a resolution to his dilemma. He feels inadequate to solve the problems he faces. The phrase "take counsel in my soul" is meant to imply David's innermost thoughts and mind. Because the Lord seems to be absent, David feels compelled to make plans on his own.

Second, David is suffering from sorrow. Feeling abandoned by God, he struggles all day with turmoil in his heart. As his struggles continue, with no end in sight, David is tempted to fear that they will never be resolved. His concern is not merely being pressured to make the right decisions, but the emotional toll his situation is taking.

Third, David is fearful over his enemy's apparent triumph over him. Since God has not yet brought a resolution, David is tempted to think there might not be victory, at all.

When troubles strike, it is easy to believe the Lord has abandoned us. But He has promised to be with us always (Hebrews 13:5). He shepherds us not only in green pastures but also when we traverse the valley of the shadow of death (Psalm 23). If we focus on our troubles instead of on the Lord, we will feel great sadness. However, if we focus on the Lord, we will experience joy despite difficult circumstances (Philippians 4:4). Our enemy may seem to triumph over us, but "we are more than conquerors through him who loved us" (Romans 8:37). David places his trust in God; he is grounded in faith, despite these temporary struggles (Psalm 13:5–6).
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