1 I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry. 2 He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. Psalm 40:1-2 ESV
The first two verses of Psalm 40 tell a story of redemption. At first glance, it might appear to be a story of a one-time event.
Have you ever fallen into a pit?
I have. I have fallen headlong into a pit through my choices and foolishness. Not just once, I might add. If pit falling got added to the Olympics, I might win a medal. Pit falling limits my ability to solve problems or gain a fresh perspective. The view from the bottom of a pit is bleak.
At the bottom of a pit, I become hyper-fixated on all the problems. I examine the pit walls for footholds so that I can climb out. If the walls prove too slippery due to all that mire, I try ordering some climbing shoes from Amazon. The kind with tiny spikes. Amazon prime tries to solve so many of my problems.
Other times I have called a friend to tell her about the pit. I treat it like a newscast –live from the pit with Anthea. Meanwhile, I’m googling to find out all about the rocks in the pit. Is there freshwater? What about pit snacks? What is the pit schedule? Do they need tour guides?
I LOOK DOWN when I focus on the pit (my problems). As Carlos Whittaker wisely suggests, I need to refocus on God’s promises found in the Psalms. In Psalm 40, the psalmist gives thanks for God’s ongoing faithfulness.
1 I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry. Psalm 40:1 ESV
Thank you, God, for hearing me when I pray and cry. Lord, you listen to me, but you turn towards me when I call. Knowing I am seen and heard by You makes whatever I suffer somehow bearable. Help me to wait patiently for You. Your response time is always right on schedule.
2 He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. Psalm 40:2 ESV
God, You rescued me from the pit. You lifted me and put me on the solid ground of Your provision. Today, I give thanks for this, and I give thanks for no pit being too deep or too miry for You. Even when I am a muddy mess, You love me and will come for me. You place my feet on the firm ground of Your provision. Your plans provide a strong foundation in times of uncertainty. You see and know exactly where I need to be.
3 He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord. Psalm 40:3 ESV
Thank you, Lord, for the gift of new songs of praise. Songs never heard before. These unique and remarkable songs stir hearts to turn toward You.
4 Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust, who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after a lie! Psalm 40:4 ESV
Thank you for blessing me whenever I trust You. When I turn to You and not to those with clever worldly solutions, protected from deception, blessings pour forth when I am close to You.
5 You have multiplied, O Lord my God, your wondrous deeds and thoughts toward us; none can compare with you! I will proclaim and tell of them, yet they are more than told. Psalm 40:5 ESV
Lord, expand my ability and influence to share about you with everyone. Shape my words into a bold testimony pointing to You.
6 In sacrifice and offering you have not delighted, but you have given me an open ear. Burnt offering and sin offering you have not required. 7 Then I said, "Behold, I have come; in the scroll of the book it is written of me: 8 I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart." Psalm 40:6-8 ESV
Thank you, Lord, for Jesus’ death on the cross because it set me free from making endless burnt offerings and sin offerings. Help me to walk daily in gratitude for the freedom this provides.
Help me to delight in obedience and doing Your will. Let me never grow tired of following the guidance you give abundantly. Help me to take into my heart Your laws. Cause me to love what you love and hate what You despise.
9 I have told the glad news of deliverance in the great congregation; behold, I have not restrained my lips, as you know, O Lord. 10 I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart; I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation; I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness from the great congregation. Psalm 40:9-10 ESV
Thank you for every opportunity I have to seek you first and speak about your deeds. May my life be writ large with words and actions proving who You are. Help me to value the gathering of Your people and be faithful in the church you call me to.
God, you are faithful even in the pit. When I climbed in there myself, you still rescued me. You come when I cry to you because you are full of mercy and grace.
YOU RESCUE ME when I can’t see the ending of a season of suffering. You come and keep company with me and help me go on.
When my friend or family member walks through the valley of death, you rescue them and me. Not always in the ways, I prayed, but you always do.
When I am trapped in the pit of despair, you come and sit with me until I see you again.
I will sing a new song today because praising You does me good.
I will choose to find delight in your presence and set aside time every day to do that, even when I am too busy.
Thank you, Lord, you never leave me where you found me. You never give up, even when I try to.
In Jesus’ name, Amen