Wow. That is a bit problem. When you come to the point where you don’t think there is any hope left for you; when you don’t think that things can get any better; you have fallen into the pit of despair and desperation. There is such a place. Many of us have fallen into it; and many of us have been lifted out of it.
David talks about it in the Psalms. In Psalm 40:1-3 we read:
“I waited patiently for the LORD to help me,
and he turned to me and heard my cry.
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.
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.”
David was chosen to be the King of Israel but for 12 years the current King of Israel – Saul – was hunting David down to kill him because Saul didn’t want David to take the throne. But God had already decided to make David King. And yet, for 12 years David was on the run like a refugee, like a criminal who had escaped from prison. David had to live in the caves and rocks; he always had to be ready for a surprise attack or an ambush; people betrayed him and he escaped with his life only because the Lord helped him.
So don’t think that God doesn’t know about all your troubles. He knows and He cares.
Notice what David says in verse 1 of Psalm 40: “I waited patiently for the Lord.”
This does not sit well with many of us; patience is not something that we are accustomed to exercise. We can click TV channels very quickly, we can order food and be eating within 15 minutes, we can pretty well get anything we want anytime we and feel comfortable and satisfied. But waiting for the Lord to act sometimes feels like we are waiting forever.
But this is what God says: “Be still in the presence of the LORD, and wait patiently for him to act.” I always associated waiting with depression and sadness. I figure God is saying, “Yes I know what you want will all of your heart, but I am not giving it to you now, you have to wait.”
But Lord! I cry out, it says in your word: “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life.” – Proverbs 13:12. Can’t you read that and give me what I want right now and end my waiting so that my heart won’t be sick?
And still the answer I want doesn’t come.
And at the same time I can tell you, I can guarantee you that God is good and you will see your miracle in some way shape or form if you hang in there and wait; if you are overwhelmed by the problems of life and there is no longer a flicker of hope left in your life – trust me – call upon the Lord with the littlest whisper in your soul. Call upon Him with the faintest, smallest voice you can muster – you will immediately feel His presence and hope will start to enter you. You will feel it. You may not get what it was you were hoping for – but you will get something – you will get the Lord filling you with His peace, He will bring hope to your soul that things will work out – and isn’t that worth more than anything? Isn’t having hope better than actually seeing the thing you are waiting for?
You know, life is full of many, many problems. Not a day will go by that you will not have some kind of problem or difficulty in your life. To say to yourself that you will only be happy if all your conditions for happiness are met means that you will never be happy. Because as soon as God answers all yours prayers exactly the way you want Him too, the moment after He does that, something else will go wrong. Someone else will say something to upset you; something else will break in the house; some other bill will come in; something will happen that will add another condition that must be met to make you happy.
So our happiness cannot be based on the conditions we create for God to fulfill in order to make us happy. We cannot say to ourselves: I will only be happy and joyful if God meets all of these conditions; because A He probably never will answer all our prayers the way we want Him too, when we want Him too. And secondly, even if He did, the moment He did something else would happen that would break that conditions we had to make ourselves happy.
It says in Job 14:
“But when people die, their strength is gone.
They breathe their last, and then where are they?
As water evaporates from a lake
and a river disappears in drought,
people are laid to rest and do not rise again.
Until the heavens are no more, they will not wake up
nor be roused from their sleep.”
But this is talking about physical death; it’s talking about the death of your soul; it’s talking about when all your hope dies and you are left with nothing – no hope, no joy. It’s talking about when you have been robbed of all hope and you feel alone, like a lonely owl in the middle of the night in the desert all alone.
And then what does David say: “Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him For the help of His presence.”
Yes that’s it. God will lift you up out of the pit of despair and put your feet upon a rock. God will fill you with peace and hope so that you can face today and not worry about tomorrow – even if He doesn’t answer your prayers; even if He makes you wait for answers. The important thing is that you can call upon God now and He will lift you up by His Spirit and you will have hope for today and not worry about tomorrow. Call upon God and let Him do that in your life today.