Lifted Out of the Pit of Despair

Years ago I read the book Holes by Lois Sachar to my students. The movie showed the characters in the bed of a dried up lake digging holes in search of lost treasures. The holes they dug were similar to graves in size; deeper than the boys were tall.

While in these pits, dirt surrounded the characters on every side and beneath their feet. It was hot, with no breeze. It was lonely, and they were stuck there until the end of the day or someone gave them permission or orders to climb out. Similarly, in life, a hole or pit can represent a very dark, depressing, and lonely time. A time of little or no hope.

In Psalm 40, David talks about spending time in a pit of despair. In other chapters of Psalms, David often discussed physical issues and tells of being pursued by his enemies. It’s very possible that David was suffering from a pit depression in the following verses. I waited patiently for the Lord, and he turned to me and heard my cry for help. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He sat my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord (Psalm 40:1-3).

There are a few things David did while in this pit. First, he waited. He didn’t just give up hope and focus on the “mud”. He waited for God’s help. I can imagine David sitting at the bottom of his pit, looking up toward the small patch of blue sky that was visible and waiting for the hand of God to reach down and save him. Don’t focus on your problems. Focus on God and the rescue that only He can provide.

Second, David was patient. This isn’t an easy task! But it is a possible task if your focus is on Him. Meditate on scripture daily so that negative thoughts will be replaced by God’s word and trust that He will pull you from the mud. As we draw closer to Him, our patience grows.

Next, David cried out to God. We often act like a spoiled child and expect our cries to be answered immediately. But sometimes God allows us to stay in the pit awhile instead of rescuing us right away. During that time, we learn to trust God and His timing. We learn that He does hear our cry. And we learn to wait patiently for His response.

In verse 2, David says he was lifted from the pit of despair and placed on solid ground. His whole perspective changed after God pulled him out. He had a new song! Our entire perspective changes after being rescued from the pit of despair. We can look back and see all that God provided, and we can once again sing praises to Him just as David did.

Your current situation may seem totally hopeless leaving you feeling alone and not knowing what to do or where to turn. Don’t hesitate to cry out to God just like David did. Focus more on God’s word and less on the pit. Trust that He will hear your cry.

Philippians 4;6-7 says , “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” God will provide the peace and strength needed while you wait to be lifted out of this pit. Trust Him to place your feet on solid ground, and give you a new song of praise to sing. Don’t give up. Keep crying out to Him and seeking Him. You will sing again!

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