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Monday, May 5, 2014

Do you ever find yourself in the pit of despair?

The Pit of Despair


After a few minutes of sharing a personal testimony, Michelle Connolly offered up some words of wisdom according to scripture that might minister to those of us who often find ourselves in that "Pit of Despair." We've all been there. Some of us may be there now.

The following is an edited portion of what Michelle shared with the Koinonia Community. Take time to share with us and be blessed by the scriptures we can all cling to.

(When) our feelings enslave us, keep us in bondage, God will always provide a way out. Ezra pointed that out in his prayer.

We have a choice to get out of the pit and grow to the heights the Lord wants for us, but few will choose God’s grace.

The Israelites had been captured and brought to Babylon but God promised they would be able to go back to their home land and rebuild. (Unfortunately) when given a chance to do so few chose to do that (Ezra 9:8-9).

When something happens to us, we as human beings, children of God, daughters of the Almighty Father, all of us full of sin nature can find ourselves in the pit.

You know the place, the place where we go when we get to be in our feelings of wallowing and self-pity. (More often than not) along comes someone who can listen and(too often) we want that person to jump into the pit with us.

But how often does God himself come by the pit, stick out HIS hand so HE can pull us out, and we (respond by getting) angry?


 


Does this ever sound familiar to you? “No God don’t pull me out, jump in here with me while I sit in my feelings”.

God tries all kinds of tactics, including sending those people HE knows will help lend a hand out of the pit. Sadly, we struggle with that by turning away from the help.  In the confusion of our feelings   

In the moment of struggle and in the moment of confusion It is then that we can’t recognize God’s hand, his presence in action.

Why can’t we recognize God’s hand or presence?
What stops us from reaching for HIS help?
What stops us from seeing the help HE is providing?
Why can’t we recognize HIS divine intervention? 

God’s word will not teach you to wallow in your circumstance, “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” (Psalm 40). 

God’s word will not encourage you to stay downThe name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous run to it and are safe” (Proverbs 18:10), “So do not fear, for I am with you, do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10), Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid”. (John 14:27) 

There are many more verses so take time to read them… John 16:33, Ps 16:8, Ps 46:1-3,2Tim 1:7, Ps 55:22 (Take some time to search out your own. The Bible is full of verses that can minister to you personally)

God’s word will not provide excuses to stay in that place and in that moment, “But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high” (Psalm 3:3)

“We are made alive in Christ”  “As for you, your were dead in your transgressions and sins In which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air,  (example of jumping in the pit of despair)the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient All of us also lived among them at one time gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts” (Ephesians 2:1-3)

“Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called uncircumcised by those who call themselves the circumcision which is done in the body by human hands remember that at the time you were separate from Christ excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise without God in the world (God’s hand), But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations (his plan once we get out of the pit) His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two thus making peace an in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross by which he put death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near for through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit” (Ephesians 2:11-18)

“The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed He made know his ways to Moses his deeds to the people of Israel The Lord is compassionate and gracious slow to anger, abounding in love He will not always accuse nor will he harbor his anger forever he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities For as high as the heavens are above the earth so great is his love for those who fear him as far as the east is from the west so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” (Psalm 103:6-13)

That "IN THE MOMENT" Struggle
God wants you and I to see that even when we are “in the moment” of our struggle and dealing with our feelings HE will provide what we need to come out of the pit. All it takes is for us to reach up with our hand and see HIS hand waiting to reach back and give us the ability, opportunity and courage to start again. 
“For we are God’s handiwork created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Eph. 2:10)


Are you in the pit of despair today?

Spend some time reflecting on the scripture verses above and let your heart dwell on the words so beautifully expressed in the worship song, Amazing Grace.

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me, I once was lost, but now I’m found, was blind, but now I see.
'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my fears relieved, how precious did that grace appear, the hour I first believed.

My Chains are gone, I’ve been set free, my God, my Savior has ransomed me, and like a flood His mercy reins, unending love, Amazing Grace.
The Lord has promised good to me, His word my hope secures,
He will my shield and portion be, as long as life endures.
The earth shall soon dissolve like snow, the sun forbear to shine, but God who called me here below.

Will be forever mine   Will be forever mine  You (GOD) are forever mine
Amazing Grace

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