David was desperate. Surrounded by troubles, sorrows, and problems, this generation could relate well to his situation. David had overwhelming feelings, and he felt like God had hidden His face from him, like God had given him over to his enemies. So he defines what it is that he is feeling first and sets it before the Lord.
Next, he lays his entreaty before God. He asks for enlightenment. David realized that in reality he did only see the smaller picture as it concerned him. But instead of wallowing in his despair, David instead asks for wisdom and salvation. It is not a matter of what he wants, because what David’s flesh man probably wanted was all his problems to go away. However, David doesn’t ask for what he wants, but rather for what he needs – discernment about how to proceed concerning the decisions in his life.
Finally, after he has done all he can, He surrendered his feelings and his decisions over to God and makes an extraordinary statement. He says, “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” (13:5-6). Do you see the transition, the difference? David moved from what he felt to what he knew. His feelings of despair and abandonment were what he felt, but deeper still he knew that God was trustworthy, and David was willing to place all that he was on the line for what he knew – that God was faithful, that He would not forsake him, and that the Lord would guide him in all His plans.
Sometimes life throws us curves. Sometimes we don’t know what to do. Sometimes we feel like everything is against us, like life will never improve. But we, too, can have the kind of confidence that David did. We, too, can move beyond what we feel and enter into what we know is real—the very presence of our God. We can live a life of knowing the truth about God: that He is a loving, caring Father who “works all things together for good to those that love Him, who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).