Psalms 40:1-3 reads, “I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And He hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God.”
Jesus told the disciples to expect trials. He begins John 16 by stating, “These things I have spoken to you so that you may be kept from stumbling.” In other words, Jesus was saying, “When life hits you dead in between the eyes and knock you down, you will get up.” Jesus warns us so that we can avoid being caught off guard. He said things like “They hate me, and they will hate you also.” You know…..guilty by association. He said, “If I suffer, you must suffer too.” He said, “Pick up your cross and follow Me.” We all have crosses to bear. When your best friends stab you in the back, do not stumble. Jesus told you that they would. When they delete you from Facebook and post your secrets, please do not lose heart. Again, Jesus told you this would happen. When money runs out and you cannot pay your rent, do not stumble. Jesus (and your mother) said there would be days like this. Acts 14:22 reads, “They strengthened the souls of the disciples and encouraged them to continue in the faith, saying, we must enter the Kingdom of God through many persecutions.” Then, 1 peter 4:12 says, “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.” No one goes into the football game without their pads because they know that they will get hit. We are in a war, a battle, a fight.
Yet, in spite of these words and many other similar Scriptures, many that profess to know Christ stumble and fall away when they get hit with various trials. If we are going to hang out with Jesus, “ride or die,” you must know in advance that you will face times when you are in the pit, and you must know what to do while you are there. Rather than turning away from the Lord, you must learn to turn to Him to rescue you from life’s pits.
Psalms 40 is a song about the pits. David tells how God got him out of the one pit, and he sings God’s praise for doing so. We must learn from David. When in the pit, what do you do? David, a man after God`s own Heart, was in a pit. He loved the Lord, and the Lord loved him, but the fact that you and God are in love does not mean you won’t have some pit experiences. David does not specify exactly what the trials were. We know David had his share of faults, but one thing certain about David, contrary to most church folks is that he was honest with God. I had to learn to stop lying to God. When David sinned, he talked to God about it and said, “God, I am sorry, but I am still your child, and you said in Your Word that nothing can reverse the love that you have for your children.” I am glad that I am a child of God.
David had many enemies that were trying to destroy him. He was in a “pit” condition—down, depressed, and wanted to give up. Most people say that David brought this on himself. I do not know if David brought it on himself or if it was part of God’s Plan. But what I do know is that it does not matter how he got into the mess. What matters is that God heard David’s cry, and God Hears your cry and will bring you out. Yes, it may be your fault, but He will bring you out because He loves you and has work for you to do for the Kingdom. He won’t let you stay in the pit—down, depressed, hungry, broken, lonely, sad, and sick. The pit is not our home, but sometimes, God will allow us to be in the pit so we can draw closer to Him. We must learn from David while we are in the pit. Like David, we must pray to God…not just pray, but cry out to God. When was the last time you cried out to God, praying from the heart, from the depth of your soul? God is able to bring you out. David went from the pit to a praise. Friend, I declare to you that if God could count on us to give him all the praise when He brings us out, what joy it would bring to Him having done so. Jesus did say, “AND I, IF I BE LIFTED UP FROM THE EARTH, WILL DRAW ALL MEN UNTO ME.” David said “I waited patiently on the Lord. I did not get in a hurry.” We mess things up when we get ahead of God.
Isaiah 40:31 says, “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as eagles. They shall run and not be weary and they shall walk and not faint.” I do not think there is anyone that really enjoys waiting, but if you want to get out of the pit, we must wait on the Lord. David said in Psalms 27:13-14, “I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord, be strong, and let your heart take courage. Wait for the Lord.” Lamentations 3:25 reads, “The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks him.” Peter said, “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” We must wait on the Lord, but that does not mean to sit there and do nothing. Instead, wait by crying out to God, praying to God, and busy doing the work of the Lord.
While you are in the pit, don’t cease to help others or to go to church because people in church are in the pit. You just can’t tell because they have on the mask, implying, “Everything is alright; I have no worries; my love life is great; I have plenty money in the bank; my kids are graduates from Howard and Yale; the doctor said I have perfect health.” But Jesus said the Church is a Hospital and that we all are sick. Let Jesus heal you. Just wait on Him. We must learn to praise God when we are in the pit as well as out the pit. Praise is not an event but, instead, a lifestyle. I am a praise going somewhere to happen.
We have heard of the three “R’s”: Reading, Riting (Writing), and Rithmetic (Arithmetic). Those R’s will get you an education. But the three “P’s” will get you out of the pit. They are Patience, Prayer and Praise. Those P’s got Daniel out the lion’s den. They got the 3 Hebrew boys out of the fiery furnace. They got the Children of Israel across the Red sea. David was able to defeat the giant, and you will come out of your pit and defeat your giants also. Just follow the formula of success—the three P’s. I’m reminded of how police drive up to a person’s home, who they fear is dangerous, and they yell, “Come out with your hands up.” Well, as usual, a song by Dorinda Clark Cole comes to mind, entitled “I’m Coming Out…With My Hands Up.” She is referring to coming out of sin, out of bad situations, out of sickness, out of heartbreak, etc., and lifting our hands in praise to God in advance for His Deliverance. Yes, we can and should declare THIS DAY that we WILL come out of the pit—with our hands up!! HalleLUJAH!!!!