When You're In A Pit

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Message for THE LORD'S DAY MORNING, July 27, 2014 Christian Hope Church of Christ, Plymouth, North Carolina by Reggie A. Braziel, Minister

TOPIC: TOPIC: TOPIC:

TOPIC: Christian LivingChristian LivingChristian LivingChristian Living

“When You're In A Pit”

“When You're In A Pit”

“When You're In A Pit”

“When You're In A Pit”

Psalm 40:1-8 (NKJV)Psalm 40:1-8 (NKJV)Psalm 40:1-8 (NKJV)Psalm 40:1-8 (NKJV)

Please turn with me in your Bibles to the 40TH PSALMthe 40TH PSALMthe 40TH PSALMthe 40TH PSALM, and let's read VERSES 1-8. VERSES 1-8.VERSES 1-8. VERSES 1-8. Psalm 40:1-8 (NKJV) Psalm 40:1-8 (NKJV)Psalm 40:1-8 (NKJV) Psalm 40:1-8 (NKJV)

1 I waited patiently for the LORD; and He inclined to me, and heard my

cry.

2 He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps.

3 He has put a new song in my mouth—Praise to our God; Many will see it and fear, and will trust in the LORD.

4 Blessed is that man who makes the LORD his trust,and does not

respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.

5 Many, O LORD my God, are Your wonderful works which You have

done; and Your thoughts toward us cannot be recounted to You in order; If I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.

6 Sacrifice and offering You did not desire; my ears You have opened. burnt offering and sin offering You did not require.

7 Then I said, “Behold, I come; in the scroll of the book it is written of me.

8 I delight to do Your will, O my God, and Your law is within my heart.”

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I N T R O D U C T I O N I N T R O D U C T I O N I N T R O D U C T I O N I N T R O D U C T I O N

The late Erma Bombeck became famous for her dry sense of humor. The title of one of her best selling books was “If Life Is A Bowl of Cherries, WhatIf Life Is A Bowl of Cherries, WhatIf Life Is A Bowl of Cherries, WhatIf Life Is A Bowl of Cherries, What Am I Doing In The Pits?”

Am I Doing In The Pits?” Am I Doing In The Pits?” Am I Doing In The Pits?”

In many ways, that humorous book title was in reality a philosophical reflection of Erma Bombeck's personal life. At the age of 20age of 20age of 20age of 20 Erma was diagnosed withe poly-cystic kidney disease (an incurable, untreatablepoly-cystic kidney disease (an incurable, untreatablepoly-cystic kidney disease (an incurable, untreatablepoly-cystic kidney disease (an incurable, untreatable genetic disease.

genetic disease. genetic disease.

genetic disease. For many years Erma Bombeck endured daily dialysis.daily dialysis.daily dialysis.daily dialysis.

Later she was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a double breast cancer and had a double breast cancer and had a double breast cancer and had a double mastectomy.

mastectomy. mastectomy.

mastectomy. Erma spent most of her adult life on a waiting list for aa waiting list for aa waiting list for aa waiting list for a kidney transplant,

kidney transplant, kidney transplant,

kidney transplant, and in those years of waiting one kidney had to be removed, the remaining kidney stopped functioning. Finally, on April 3, 1996April 3, 1996April 3, 1996April 3, 1996 she received the long-awaited kidney transplant; but she just 19 days later, at the age of 69, Erma Bombeck died from complications of her kidney transplant surgery.

Shortly before her death, Erma Bombeck said, “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, 'I used everything You gave me.”

********************************************************************************* When Erma Bombeck's life was “the pits” life was “the pits” life was “the pits” life was “the pits” she wrote a book; other people have written songs:

Remember this classic song on HEE HAW, “Gloom, Despair and Agony on Me.”“Gloom, Despair and Agony on Me.”“Gloom, Despair and Agony on Me.”“Gloom, Despair and Agony on Me.” Or how about “I'm Just A Bug on The Windshield of Life?” I'm Just A Bug on The Windshield of Life?” I'm Just A Bug on The Windshield of Life?” I'm Just A Bug on The Windshield of Life?” Or, “I Bought TheI Bought TheI Bought TheI Bought The Boots That Just Walked Out On Me.”

Boots That Just Walked Out On Me.” Boots That Just Walked Out On Me.”

Boots That Just Walked Out On Me.” Or how about this classic, “The Next Time“The Next Time“The Next Time“The Next Time You Throw That Fryin' Pan, My Face Ain't Gonna Be There?”

You Throw That Fryin' Pan, My Face Ain't Gonna Be There?”You Throw That Fryin' Pan, My Face Ain't Gonna Be There?” You Throw That Fryin' Pan, My Face Ain't Gonna Be There?”

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This 40404040thththth

Psalm Psalm Psalm

Psalm is a song David wrote while he was “IN THE PITS.” “IN THE PITS.” “IN THE PITS.” “IN THE PITS.” This is one of the favorite Psalms of many Christians because it describes a common experience

a common experience a common experience

a common experience we have all been through in life.

Who among us here this morning hasn't been in a “pit or two” at sometime orin a “pit or two” at sometime orin a “pit or two” at sometime orin a “pit or two” at sometime or another?

another? another?

another? In fact, some of you here this morning may be in “a pit” “a pit” “a pit” “a pit” right now.

As we study these first few verses of this 40TH PSALM 40TH PSALM 40TH PSALM 40TH PSALM we are going to learn what to do “When Life Is The Pits.”“When Life Is The Pits.”“When Life Is The Pits.”“When Life Is The Pits.”

********************************************* ********************************************* ********************************************* ********************************************* First of all...

I.

I.

I.

I.

When You're In “The Pit,”

When You're In “The Pit,” WAIT PATIENTLY FOR THE LORD

When You're In “The Pit,”

When You're In “The Pit,”

WAIT PATIENTLY FOR THE LORD

WAIT PATIENTLY FOR THE LORD

WAIT PATIENTLY FOR THE LORD

Verse 1 a “ I Verse 1 a “ I Verse 1 a “ I

Verse 1 a “ I waited patientlywaited patientlywaited patientlywaited patiently for the LORD.” for the LORD.” for the LORD.” for the LORD.”

1. David doesn't specifically tell us just what “his pit” was. He just tells us in verse 2 verse 2 verse 2 verse 2 that it was “a horrible pit” “a horrible pit” “a horrible pit” “a horrible pit” and it was though he was stuck in “miry clay.”“miry clay.”“miry clay.”“miry clay.”

*David could have been referring to all those years he spent *David could have been referring to all those years he spent *David could have been referring to all those years he spent *David could have been referring to all those years he spent running for his life from King Saul who was out to kill him. running for his life from King Saul who was out to kill him. running for his life from King Saul who was out to kill him. running for his life from King Saul who was out to kill him.

*David could have been referring to that period in his life when *David could have been referring to that period in his life when *David could have been referring to that period in his life when *David could have been referring to that period in his life when his own son, Absalom tried to kill him and take the throne his own son, Absalom tried to kill him and take the throne his own son, Absalom tried to kill him and take the throne his own son, Absalom tried to kill him and take the throne away from him.

away from him. away from him. away from him.

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*David could have been referring to his miserable “home life.” *David could have been referring to his miserable “home life.” *David could have been referring to his miserable “home life.” *David could have been referring to his miserable “home life.” He had without a doubt the most “dysfunctional” family of He had without a doubt the most “dysfunctional” family of He had without a doubt the most “dysfunctional” family of He had without a doubt the most “dysfunctional” family of all the men in the Old Testament. David's son, Amnon raped all the men in the Old Testament. David's son, Amnon raped all the men in the Old Testament. David's son, Amnon raped all the men in the Old Testament. David's son, Amnon raped his own sister, Tamar. Then two years later, David's son his own sister, Tamar. Then two years later, David's son his own sister, Tamar. Then two years later, David's son his own sister, Tamar. Then two years later, David's son Absalom arranged the murder of his brother Amnon for what Absalom arranged the murder of his brother Amnon for what Absalom arranged the murder of his brother Amnon for what Absalom arranged the murder of his brother Amnon for what he did to Tamar.

he did to Tamar. he did to Tamar. he did to Tamar.

2. David's “horrible pit” could have been any one of these things. Likewise, “our pits” can be any one of a number of life's trials.

*Your “pit” could be POOR HEALTH.POOR HEALTH.POOR HEALTH.POOR HEALTH.

*Your “pit” could be A “DEAD END” JOB or THE LOSSA “DEAD END” JOB or THE LOSSA “DEAD END” JOB or THE LOSSA “DEAD END” JOB or THE LOSS OF YOUR JOB.

OF YOUR JOB. OF YOUR JOB. OF YOUR JOB.

*Your “pit” could be A LOVELESS MARRIAGE or ANA LOVELESS MARRIAGE or ANA LOVELESS MARRIAGE or ANA LOVELESS MARRIAGE or AN UN-FAITHFUL MATE.

UN-FAITHFUL MATE. UN-FAITHFUL MATE. UN-FAITHFUL MATE.

*Your “pit” could be A REBELLIOUS SON or DAUGHTER.A REBELLIOUS SON or DAUGHTER.A REBELLIOUS SON or DAUGHTER.A REBELLIOUS SON or DAUGHTER.

*Your “pit” could be DEALING WITH A LOVED ONEDEALING WITH A LOVED ONEDEALING WITH A LOVED ONEDEALING WITH A LOVED ONE WHO HAS AN ALCOHOL OR DRUG ADDICTION. WHO HAS AN ALCOHOL OR DRUG ADDICTION. WHO HAS AN ALCOHOL OR DRUG ADDICTION. WHO HAS AN ALCOHOL OR DRUG ADDICTION.

3. Regardless of what your “pit” may be, there are several truths about ALL “PITS.”

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Truth #1: “The Pit” is a place of Truth #1: “The Pit” is a place of Truth #1: “The Pit” is a place of

Truth #1: “The Pit” is a place of LONELINESSLONELINESSLONELINESSLONELINESS....

Often when you're in “a pit” nobody even knows the struggles you are dealing with, and even if they do know they don't really understand what you are going through or how to help you. That just adds to the sense of loneliness.

Truth #2: “The Pit” is a place of Truth #2: “The Pit” is a place of Truth #2: “The Pit” is a place of

Truth #2: “The Pit” is a place of MISERYMISERYMISERYMISERY....

There's no happiness or joy or peace when you're in

“a pit.” In fact, when you look at the lives of other people and see how “happy” they seem to be, it just compounds your own misery. You find yourself obcessing over “Why can't I be happy like other people?”

Truth #3:Truth #3:Truth #3:Truth #3: “The Pit” is a place of “The Pit” is a place of “The Pit” is a place of “The Pit” is a place of DESPAIRDESPAIRDESPAIRDESPAIR . . . .

When you are in “a pit” you have this over-whelming sense of hopelessness and helplessness. You feel like the walls of the pit are closing in around you. You feel as though you are going to be stuck in “your pit” the rest of your life and your situation is never going to get any better.

4. What can we do when we find ourselves trapped in

a lonely ...miserable...”pit of despair?” a lonely ...miserable...”pit of despair?” a lonely ...miserable...”pit of despair?” a lonely ...miserable...”pit of despair?” We must do what David did.

verse 1 “I waited patiently for the LORD; and He inclined to verse 1 “I waited patiently for the LORD; and He inclined to verse 1 “I waited patiently for the LORD; and He inclined to verse 1 “I waited patiently for the LORD; and He inclined to me and heard my cry.”

me and heard my cry.” me and heard my cry.” me and heard my cry.”

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5. David resisted the temptation to lean upon his own “pride” and figure out how to get himself out of his pit. He says in verse 4, “Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust.”verse 4, “Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust.”verse 4, “Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust.”verse 4, “Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust.”

6. One of the hardest things for us to do when we are in “a pit” is to WAIT PATIENTLY FOR THE LORD.WAIT PATIENTLY FOR THE LORD.WAIT PATIENTLY FOR THE LORD.WAIT PATIENTLY FOR THE LORD.

We have a tendency to believe when we have been in “our pit” for awhile and nothing has changed that it means GOD hasn't heard our cries from the pit.

And thinking GOD doesn't even know we are in “a pit” we often take matters into our own hands and try to figure our own way out of “the pit” and what ends up happening is we dig the pit deeper and deeper and we get bogged down in the “miry clay” of our circumstances.

7. Brothers and sisters don't ever forget this: If you are in a pit, you can rest assured your Heavenly Father knows you in that “pit.” And if you will PATIENTLY WAIT FOR THE LORD And if you will PATIENTLY WAIT FOR THE LORD And if you will PATIENTLY WAIT FOR THE LORD And if you will PATIENTLY WAIT FOR THE LORD He will eventually “bring you up out of the horrible pit” and set He will eventually “bring you up out of the horrible pit” and set He will eventually “bring you up out of the horrible pit” and set He will eventually “bring you up out of the horrible pit” and set your feet upon a solid rock.

your feet upon a solid rock. your feet upon a solid rock. your feet upon a solid rock.

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8. What does it mean to WAIT PATIENTLY FOR THE LORD?WAIT PATIENTLY FOR THE LORD?WAIT PATIENTLY FOR THE LORD?WAIT PATIENTLY FOR THE LORD?

a. “Waiting patiently for the LORD “ means to wait a. “Waiting patiently for the LORD “ means to wait a. “Waiting patiently for the LORD “ means to wait a. “Waiting patiently for the LORD “ means to wait

PRAYERFULLY.PRAYERFULLY.PRAYERFULLY.PRAYERFULLY.

When we find ourselves in “a pit” one of the

best things we can do is to PRAY. PRAY. PRAY. PRAY. We must KEEP ASKING, KEEP SEEKING, and KEEP KEEP ASKING, KEEP SEEKING, and KEEP KEEP ASKING, KEEP SEEKING, and KEEP KEEP ASKING, KEEP SEEKING, and KEEP

KNOCKING KNOCKING KNOCKING

KNOCKING until the LORD answers our prayers.until the LORD answers our prayers.until the LORD answers our prayers.until the LORD answers our prayers.

b. “Waiting patiently for the LORD” means to wait b. “Waiting patiently for the LORD” means to wait b. “Waiting patiently for the LORD” means to wait b. “Waiting patiently for the LORD” means to wait

PRODUCTIVELYPRODUCTIVELYPRODUCTIVELYPRODUCTIVELY. . . .

One of the biggest temptations we face when we

are in “a pit”“a pit”“a pit”“a pit” is the temptation to “shut down”“shut down”“shut down”“shut down”

until our circumstances change. That is our pride

pride pride

pride saying, “God I'm not going to do anything

until you give me what I want.”

That doesn't work with GOD! That doesn't work with GOD! That doesn't work with GOD!

That doesn't work with GOD! In fact, GOD may

leave us in “the pit”“the pit”“the pit”“the pit” longer until our pride is

broken. WAITING PATIENTLY FOR THE LORD WAITING PATIENTLY FOR THE LORD WAITING PATIENTLY FOR THE LORD WAITING PATIENTLY FOR THE LORD

means being useful useful useful useful and productive productive productive productive and

fruitful in our current unpleasant circumstance fruitful in our current unpleasant circumstance fruitful in our current unpleasant circumstance fruitful in our current unpleasant circumstance

until GOD lifts us out of “the pit.” until GOD lifts us out of “the pit.” until GOD lifts us out of “the pit.” until GOD lifts us out of “the pit.”

When You Are In “The Pit,” WAIT PATIENTLY FOR THE

LORD!

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Secondly...

II.

II.

II.

II.

When The Lord Lifts You Out of “The Pit,”

When The Lord Lifts You Out of “The Pit,” PRAISE HIM

When The Lord Lifts You Out of “The Pit,”

When The Lord Lifts You Out of “The Pit,”

PRAISE HIM

PRAISE HIM

PRAISE HIM

AND PROCLAIM HIS GOODNESS

AND PROCLAIM HIS GOODNESS

AND PROCLAIM HIS GOODNESS

AND PROCLAIM HIS GOODNESS

verse 3 “He has put a new song in my mouth----praise to our GOD; manyverse 3 “He has put a new song in my mouth----praise to our GOD; manyverse 3 “He has put a new song in my mouth----praise to our GOD; manyverse 3 “He has put a new song in my mouth----praise to our GOD; many will see it and fear, and will trust in the LORD.”

will see it and fear, and will trust in the LORD.” will see it and fear, and will trust in the LORD.” will see it and fear, and will trust in the LORD.”

1. David “hammers” this theme of PRAISE throughout this 40TH40TH40TH40TH PSALM.

PSALM. PSALM. PSALM.

v. 3 “He has put a new song in my mouth, praise to our God.” v. 3 “He has put a new song in my mouth, praise to our God.” v. 3 “He has put a new song in my mouth, praise to our God.” v. 3 “He has put a new song in my mouth, praise to our God.”

v. 4 “Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust.” v. 4 “Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust.” v. 4 “Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust.” v. 4 “Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust.”

v. 5 “Many, O LORD my GOD, are Your wonderful works which v. 5 “Many, O LORD my GOD, are Your wonderful works which v. 5 “Many, O LORD my GOD, are Your wonderful works which v. 5 “Many, O LORD my GOD, are Your wonderful works which You have done.”

You have done.” You have done.” You have done.”

v. 16 “Let all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You.” v. 16 “Let all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You.” v. 16 “Let all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You.” v. 16 “Let all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You.” “The LORD be magnified.”

“The LORD be magnified.” “The LORD be magnified.” “The LORD be magnified.”

v. 17 “You are my Help and my Deliverer.” v. 17 “You are my Help and my Deliverer.” v. 17 “You are my Help and my Deliverer.” v. 17 “You are my Help and my Deliverer.”

2. Why does David speak “praise after praise” to GOD? It is

because David wants everyone to know it was GOD who got him out of “THE PIT.” “THE PIT.” “THE PIT.” “THE PIT.” David wanted everyone to know how helpless he was in “THE PIT” “THE PIT” “THE PIT” “THE PIT” and he never could have rescued himself.

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3. Think of all the times you and I have been in THE PITS OF LIFE.THE PITS OF LIFE.THE PITS OF LIFE.THE PITS OF LIFE.

Think of all those times you have been a seemingly HOPELESS situation and GOD brought you through it!

Think of all those times when you were read to GIVE UP and THROW IN THE TOWEL and GOD gave you the strength to go on!

Think of all those times when your HEART WAS SO BROKEN and YOUR SPIRITS WERE SO CRUSHED you didn't think you could face another day, and GOD reached down in love and took you by the hand and lifted you up!

4. Oh brothers and sisters, if it weren't for GOD you and I would never get out of THE PITS! THE PITS! THE PITS! THE PITS! If it weren't for GOD you and I would be MIRED IN THE CLAY OF HOPELESSNESS and MIRED IN THE CLAY OF HOPELESSNESS and MIRED IN THE CLAY OF HOPELESSNESS and MIRED IN THE CLAY OF HOPELESSNESS and

HELPLESSNESS ALL THE DAYS OF OUR LIFE! HELPLESSNESS ALL THE DAYS OF OUR LIFE! HELPLESSNESS ALL THE DAYS OF OUR LIFE! HELPLESSNESS ALL THE DAYS OF OUR LIFE!

5. IF IT WEREN'T FOR “THE PITS” OF LIFE, our faith would never grow,IF IT WEREN'T FOR “THE PITS” OF LIFE, our faith would never grow,IF IT WEREN'T FOR “THE PITS” OF LIFE, our faith would never grow,IF IT WEREN'T FOR “THE PITS” OF LIFE, our faith would never grow, so PRAISE GOD AND PROCLAIM HIS GOODNESS!

so PRAISE GOD AND PROCLAIM HIS GOODNESS! so PRAISE GOD AND PROCLAIM HIS GOODNESS! so PRAISE GOD AND PROCLAIM HIS GOODNESS!

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C O N C L U S I O N C O N C L U S I O N C O N C L U S I O N C O N C L U S I O N

One day two men were standing beside a lake when they heard someone splashing in the water and obviously about to drown. One of the men happened to be a trained life guard, but he stood style while the man flailed his arms in a panic.

The other man said, “You're a lifeguard, are you just going to stand here and watch that helpless man drown?” He said, “No, I am going to save him, but first I am going to let him exhaust all his strength, so when I swim out to him he won't fight against me and drown us both.”

Perhaps this morning you feel as though you are “drowning in a pit of despair,” and you are fighting and kicking and demanding that GOD rescue you from “the pit” right now.

Maybe GOD is allowing you to remain in “THE PIT” until you stop fighting and kicking to get your will done, and you surrender completely to HIS WILL.

“I waited patiently for the LORD; and He inclined to me and heard my

“I waited patiently for the LORD; and He inclined to me and heard my

“I waited patiently for the LORD; and He inclined to me and heard my

“I waited patiently for the LORD; and He inclined to me and heard my

cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay,

cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay,

cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay,

cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay,

and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps.”

and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps.”

and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps.”

and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps.”

Figure

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