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.
As we continue with Part II of “Trust in the Wait” we will see again from Psalm 40 that God wants 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:
Trust in His provision means we can praise Him in the pit. We can praise God for His problem solving abilities because He always finds a way even when there seems to be no way. He has the ability to help overcome any problem you may be facing with His wisdom, knowledge and resources. Even though He often works in ways we cannot see He will find a way for you out of your predicament, problem or pit.
The psalmist said “He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God”. God wants to put a new song on our lips, a songs of deliverance that comes out of the pit of despair. God created us to sing. Nations have national anthems; armed forces march to music, colleges have alma-maters. Almost every organization you can think of has a theme song, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts. We even sing in the shower, we whistle while we work, at times we even find ourselves pausing along the way to hear a bird chirping in the trees. We, by our nature, love singing, even if we ourselves sound terrible. In the Bible we find the God of Creation and Redemption is the God of Song, for when the universe was brought into existence, Job 38 says “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? ..as the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy? In Exodus 15 when God delivered the Children of Israel out of bondage in Egypt, the Israelites sang “The Lord is my strength and my song; he has given me victory. This is my God, and I will praise him” One day when this world is over and God’s plan of redemption has reached its consummation, we will all be gathered before Him sing the song of the Lamb. Singing gives evidence of life, and praising God gives evidence of our trust in Him with our life. It’s one thing to say “I know He’ll get me through”, but it’s another thing to praise Him while considering the possibility of having a car repossessed, or running out of food, or seeing a child go to jail, or watching a spouse wither away with disease. The question is not will we praise Him it is when will we praise Him. The words from the song “I will praise you in the Storm” by Casting Crowns provide us with a call and a challenge not to wait till we see the blue skies to praise Him: “I was sure by now, God You would have reached down, And wiped our tears away, Stepped in and saved the day, But once again, I say “Amen”, and it’s still raining” Do you trust Him enough to praise Him in the pit?
Our perspective in the pit reveals our real trust in God. Sometimes the Lord uses what traps us in the pit to show others His power through our experience of deliverance. He allowed Joseph to be thrown into a pit and then to be imprisoned in Egypt for 18 years. Yet, in Gen 50:20 Joseph wrote about his brothers, “You meant to throw me in the pit for evil, but God turned it for good for the saving of many lives.” In the pit I am often tempted to think only of my own deliverance but the real question I need to wrestle with is will I allow the Lord to use my discouraging experience for His greater purposes, do I trust His plan, and will I wait for His demonstration of power? Whose perspective will you choose to view the problems of your pit through, His or yours? Why do we think that we have to be delivered instantly? Are you willing to let God use you for His greater display of mighty power, perspective and problem solving capacities? As a result of our pit experiences we can gain a new perspective with greater understanding, wisdom and maturity. Someone once complained, “Satan is always after me. He’s always on my back. How can I defeat Satan in my life?” The answer they got was, “Submit to God. Come out the other end of your trial more like Jesus. That defeats Satan in your life”. We often spend most of our time in the pit looking for deliverance but what if we looked for development. Have you ever notice that the times you’re not really serving and you feel least like you’re on the right path are when you’re stuck in the mire of a trial? It’s during these times when we are focused more on the circumstances of the trial than the creator that we often feel useless. What if while we are in the midst of a trial, we would concentrate on praying for others and seeking to meet their needs? When we do, it’s amazing how much less we focus on our own problem, but it’s impossible to do both. Picture yourself in a room with a window. If you’re standing with your back to the window looking at the room, you can’t see what’s outside. If you are looking out, you can’t see the room behind you. Similarly while we’re focusing inward, we can’t see other’s needs, but while we’re looking outward, it gives God the chance to clean the room behind us and even move some of the furniture around.
Verse 2 says “He steadied me as I walked along” God’s activity in our lives is not just about deliverance, “lifting us out of the pit of despair” it is also about Direction. God’s plan is to put us back on solid ground regarding our faith, and guide our steps forward and onward in our daily walk. There is no greater sense of victory for those who has experienced a time of testing and with spiritual discernment as they looked back have come to knows that it was God that delivered them out of it. The deeper and darker the pit, the brighter the light of delivery, the thicker the mire, the greater the sense of release. Without the unsteady muck and mud do we really appreciate the solid ground that God provides? Without the pits of this life will we ever understand the true joy of God’s path? It’s out of our pit experiences that we not only gain an appreciation for God’s path but also a renewed sense of purpose. If we learn anything from the pit it’s the pleasure of His path that is filled with direction and purpose. What direction are you heading, what will be your destination, do you want to live a life filled with significance? Then trust His path.
George Macdonald once said “How often we look upon God as our last and feeblest resource! We go to Him because we have nowhere else to go. And then we learn that the storms of life have driven us, not upon the rocks, but into the desired haven.” Sometimes our pits are the only road to His path of purpose, whose plan are you trusting in?