1 I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. 2 He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. 3 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. 4 Oh, the joys of those who trust the Lord, who have no confidence in the proud or in those who worship idols.
There are times when we all find ourselves in the pit of despair sinking deeper into the muck and mire of discouragement, depression and disappointment. The Psalmist had experienced the pit of despair, that place where we feel left alone, stuck in our hopelessness and overwhelmed by our loneliness. In those moments in the pits of life we need the help of God to deliver us from the emotional, spiritual, mental, financial and physical predicaments. This passage is personal, it refers to YOUR situation, it is talking about the trial that seems to be leading to your despair and destruction. When we are trapped in the mire of our circumstances, hopelessly and helplessly being dragged down, we must remember that God is there reaching down but do we trust enough to reach up?
The focus of this passage is not our problems but His power, “He lifted me out of the pit of despair”. He is able to deliver, He is able to save to the uttermost. Sometimes, the Lord delivers us directly but other times He uses our circumstances to develop and change us as well as the people around us. God wants to move you from the pits to praise through His mighty power to deliver. There are several lessons we need to learn from Psalm 40 that will help to move us from the pits of despair to the pinnacle of praise, from pouting to a higher perspective. Trust is always more of a challenge while we are waiting on God but trusting in the wait means:
- Patiently wait on the Lord
Waiting requires patience which is always a challenge but especially when we are waiting from the painful position of the bottom of the pit. Our tendency is not to wait but to wiggle to try and change our situation yet we need to remember that when you’re sinking in quicksand, the harder you struggle, the faster you go down. Waiting on the Lord from a human perspective may seem counterproductive and humanly we can’t relax when we are stuck in the muck and the mire, but trust will always allow us to relax into His timing. Do you want to find His overcoming help to deliver you from emotional, mental or relation pits? Then trust Him enough to wait, Isaiah 41:10 says, “Those who wait (meditate, look to and hope in) upon the Lord, will renew their strength. They will run and not be weary they will walk and not faint.” Waiting on the Lord requires discipline and the confidence that God is more powerful than the problem. God wants to use these down times to draw us closer to Himself. Often in our attempt to escape and live a problem free life we miss the relational connection and closeness that comes when we stop trying and start trusting. In the Hebrew, this first verse would say, “Waiting, I waited” because waiting is not about waiting for an answer, it’s about waiting for the Lord, He IS the answer. If I find a quick end to my troubles, I have temporary relief, but if I let God bring the end in His time, I have growth, and I have a song of praise on my lips. Trusting is the fuel that helps us to wait and waiting is the vehicle that brings us into that place of praise. Waiting is not inactivity it is a stillness of activity that becomes focused upon and shaped by who we are waiting on. The psalmist was crying out to God while waiting, so go ahead and pray, go ahead and cry out. The scripture says that “He turned to me and heard my cry” He is a loving Father who both answers our cry and saves to the uttermost. Are you worrying or waiting?
• His Power
Will we wait on and focus on His Power or our predicament? There can be peace even before we experience His provision if we will focus on His power instead of our predicament. His plan is rooted in His power to deliver and to lift our head, David wrote in Psalm 121 “I lift up my eyes to the mountains where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” We need to be reminded that the one who created this planet also has a plan for your problems and the power to shape you through the process. God will bring you up out of any rut, depression or difficulty that you are in. He will set you on a new foundation which will become His launching pad to things far beyond your ability because He is the God of new beginnings. He will establish your way as He provides you with new energy to embark on greater projects for the advancement of His kingdom. David wrote, “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.” Not only is His power great enough to deliver you but He will also bring others to Himself as a result of your experience of deliverance. Do you want to see His power displayed through your problems? Do you trust God enough to wait on His power?