Psalm 40 has popped up several times in the past few weeks in various devotionals and I love reading through it. I can really relate with many of the things that David says in this passage. Here is Psalm 40 (emphasis mine)…
1 I waited patiently for the LORD;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
3 He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the LORD
and put their trust in him.
4 Blessed is the one
who trusts in the LORD,
who does not look to the proud,
to those who turn aside to false gods.
5 Many, LORD my God,
are the wonders you have done,
the things you planned for us.
None can compare with you;
were I to speak and tell of your deeds,
they would be too many to declare.
6 Sacrifice and offering you did not desire—
but my ears you have opened—
burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require.
7 Then I said, “Here I am, I have come—
it is written about me in the scroll.
8 I desire to do your will, my God;
your law is within my heart.”
9 I proclaim your saving acts in the great assembly;
I do not seal my lips, LORD,
as you know.
10 I do not hide your righteousness in my heart;
I speak of your faithfulness and your saving help.
I do not conceal your love and your faithfulness
from the great assembly.
11 Do not withhold your mercy from me, LORD;
may your love and faithfulness always protect me.
12 For troubles without number surround me;
my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see.
They are more than the hairs of my head,
and my heart fails within me.
13 Be pleased to save me, LORD;
come quickly, LORD, to help me.
14 May all who want to take my life
be put to shame and confusion;
may all who desire my ruin
be turned back in disgrace.
15 May those who say to me, “Aha! Aha!”
be appalled at their own shame.
16 But may all who seek you
rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who long for your saving help always say,
“The LORD is great!”
17 But as for me, I am poor and needy;
may the Lord think of me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
you are my God, do not delay.
Below is an excerpt from, of course, Girlfriends in God on Psalm 40. I didn’t include the whole devotional, just bits and pieces of it…also, my thoughts are in italics…
February 4, 2011
Coming Out of the Dark
"I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God." Psalm 40:1-3
1. Wait. The psalmist simply says, "I waited." Waiting is not passive. Waiting is meant to be a time of preparation, a time of rest and healing. To wait means to accept the pit. (I LOVE the statement that “waiting is not passive”. God doesn’t ask us to sit around and twiddle our thumbs while we wait for a baby, while we wait for a new job, while we wait for more money…waiting is ACTIVE. It is a time of preparation, rest and healing…what does God want YOU to do while you wait???)
Isaiah 45:3 (NIV) "I will give you hidden treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name." Any time "LORD" is capitalized in Scripture, it means "Abba Father." This verse indicates that our Father has gone before us and in every dark moment or painful circumstance has buried a treasure or stored a secret. The only way we can find the treasure or learn the secret is to pass through that darkness. Some things cannot be learned in the light. To wait means to accept the pit, knowing it is for our good. (Isn’t that a pretty awesome thought too? We aren’t going through the darkness in vain…God IS teaching us something if we only listen.)
2. Be patient. David said, "I waited patiently for the Lord." The word "patiently" means "without tiring and with perseverance." (Man, waiting patiently is HARD stuff! Without tiring? Can’t do that without God!!)
Depression may not be the problem you are facing, but at some point in life, we will all face some kind of pit. It may be a pit that we have dug with our own hands of wrong choices or it could be a pit that has been uniquely designed for us by the enemy. But a pit is a pit - a place of paralyzing fear and numbing doubt that is constantly fed by our human frailty and desperate attempts to escape the darkness. (How many times have YOU had paralyzing fear and numbing doubt?? Um how about on a daily basis?? :) But God is there to rescue us!!)
The good news is that God is drawn to broken people. Psalm 40:1 says "He turned to me." Notice it does not say that David turned to God. Honestly, I doubt David had the strength to turn to God ... so God turned to him. (I LOVE this too…I can’t count the number of times that I didn’t have the strength to go on. In those moments all I can say is “God HELP me”, and He turns to me and helps!) God heard the cry of David and he will hear yours. I don't know if you are in a pit and need help or if someone you love is in that pit and needs your help, but one thing I do know is that the purpose of the pit is to purify and then restore. Right now, surrender the broken pieces of your life to God. He can and will bring you out of the dark.
Father, I am so tired. I can't hear Your voice or sense Your presence in my life. My faith is weak and I need Your strength to go on. Right now, I am laying the broken pieces of my life at Your feet and counting on You to come through for me.
In Jesus' name,
Now It's Your Turn
Read Psalm 40:1-3. "I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God."
Circle all of the "action" words in these verses. What does God ask you to do? What does God say that He will do? Do you believe Him? Are you willing to let Him be God in your life?