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Summary: We all experience despair at times and God will help us to overcome it.

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Title: Overcoming Despair

Text: Psalm 13:1-6

“How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? 2 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? 3 Look on me and answer, O LORD my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death; 4 my enemy will say, "I have overcome him," and my foes will rejoice when I fall. 5 But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. 6 I will sing to the LORD, for he has been good to me.

Look at a 5 part outline for overcoming despair

1.The definition of despair –what is despair?

2.The depth of despair – how bad does despair get?

3.The duration of despair – how long does despair last?

4.The desire in our despair – what should we ask God for when we are in despair

5.The decision in our despair – what we should do to help overcome despair.

1.The definition of despair

A. Definition of despair: Despair is having a deep sense of hopelessness.

B. The Apostle Paul tells us who is a candidate for despair in 2 Cor. 1:8

“We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life.”

2 Cor. 1:8

C. If you find yourself under great pressure you are a candidate for despair!

D. If you suffer a HUGE hardship you are a candidate for despair.

2. The depth of despair

How bad does despair get?

David felt despair at its worst.

1. David felt deep despair spiritually.

“How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?

2. David felt deep despair emotionally

How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart?

3. David felt deep despair physiologically

“How long will my enemy triumph over me?”

Let’s take a few more moments to look more closely at these 3 levels of despair.

Notice that despair hit David hardest on the spiritual level

Why? Because

1. David loved God more than he loved anyone else.

2. God meant everything to David.

3. David could no more forget God than he could forget his own name.

But here in Psalm 13 David is in deepest despair spiritually because

•He feels that God had forgotten him.

•And to make matters worse David feels that God has forgotten him deliberately.

•God is intentionally hiding himself from David.

For those who truly love God your greatest despair when it comes will be spiritual in nature.

Jesus- “My God my God why have you forsaken me?”

2. David felt deep despair emotionally

How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart?

Here we see that despair has gotten deep inside of David.

Despair has taken control over David’s mind and over David’s heart.

Every single day David wrestled with thoughts of despair.

Every single day despair filled David’s heart with sorrow.

3. David felt despair physiologically

“How long will my enemy triumph over me?”

David tells God he is losing the war against despair.


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