The Apostle Paul made it quite clear in Romans 1:16 & 17 that the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation, and that those justified by faith re to live by that same faith. It is possible for the true Christian to waver in his convictions, and to wobble because of temptations to worldliness and trials that are meant to test his love for God. 6 characteristics are given in Psalm 13 to describe the person that is wavering in his faith toward God, and as a result he temporarily loses Biblical truth.
The 1st characteristic of a person wavering in faith is belief that God has forgotten him. “How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? ” (13:1) He accepts the lie that he has been forgotten by God. Most would not say such a thing openly, but this is his cry when unbelief has found a place in his heart.
The 2nd characteristic of a person wavering in faith views God as hiding his face from him. “How long will you hide your face from me?” (13:1b) In both of these characteristics God is not seen as one who always has his highest good in view, but has stopped caring about his welfare. In reality, God sent His beloved Son to the cross to suffer and die for his sins; no further proof is needed!
The 3rd characteristic is worry. “How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart all the day?” (13:2) The Christian can speak to himself the truth or he can listen to the old man accuse God in unbelief, worry, and as if God’s ultimate plan is not for his good. The healthy Christian speaks to himself words of truth from the Bible that correct his own worldly counsel.
The 4th characteristic of a Christian who wavers in faith believes the lie that people of the world are better off. “How long will my enemy be exalted over me?” (13:2b) The Christian may never win the lottery, but he is still among the richest men in the world. One day he will receive one of the largest inheritance in all human history. A wavering Christian has lost a sense of eternity because he becomes so consumed with his present circumstances. Such a person should take heed to the repeated admonition of the New Testament,
“Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you-unless indeed you fail the test?” 2 Corinthians 13:5
In Psalm 13:3 the Psalmist begins to wake up from the 5 characteristic of wavering; and he requests that God might help him to see. “Consider and answer me, O Lord my God; enlighten my eyes, or I will sleep the sleep of death.” The wavering in faith think of death as something to be feared. For the Apostle Paul, death was gain (Philippians 1) but for the man that waver, death involves unnecessary worry.
The 6th and final characteristic of a person wavering in faith is the fear of man. “And my adversaries will rejoice when I am shaken.” The Christian should never care what the world thinks because as the Scripture says, “The fear of man brings a snare, but he who trusts in the Lord will be exalted.” (Proverbs 29:25) When a Christian cares about the beliefs of unbelievers he falls into the same error of unbelief. The healthy Christian thinks of life’s most difficult circumstances in the light of eternity and our eternal home. And it is that perspective that is to guide his actions, decisions, emotions, and concerns. Only then can he walk in a manner worthy of the Gospel (Philippians 1:27).
In the last 2 verses of Psalm 13 it is as if David came out of a stupor and became alert. “But I have trusted in Your loving-kindness; My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, because He has dealt bountifully with me.” (Psalm 13:5-6) Even David , a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14) wavered in faith. The Christian should not take his faith for granted, but seek to cultivate it every day by honesty about his wanderings from God. The person who possesses a false sense of security is in the most dangerous place. There is a false sense of security that the unsaved possess, usually because they prayed a prayer, walked an aisle, or some such thing that the Bible never indicates as a true proof of a man’s salvation. True salvation is authenticated by a transformation of the soul (2 Corinthians 5:17), an unwavering faith in God (Romans 1:17), and the confirmation that comes from God as the “sealing of the Spirit” (Ephesians 4:30). Any sense of security other than the 3 mentioned is fool’s gold.
A true Christian will always wake up from his wavering faith and say to himself, “I have trusted in Your loving-kindness” and the transformation of my heart and actions prove it. Furthermore, he says within himself, “My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation” because he possesses true faith in God and not himself. Furthermore, he understands that he will enjoy heaven for eternity because God has not forgotten him, neither hidden his face from him, and he knows that God cares for Him. The child of God knows these things to be true in the depth of his heart because of the overwhelming truth within him is the reality of God’s love at Calvary. Let the world think what it will, let the devil tempt him to despair, but in the end the true Christian believes in the love of God through Christ.