The common thought is:
“Believers are not supposed to wrestle with despair and discouragement, and loss of hope.”
But we do…

Yes, it is true that:
We are supposed to be people of great faith, and power from Holy Spirit, having the ability to walk through any obstacle, or any problem that comes our way.

And we can…

Often, even we don’t realize how deeply we’ve been affected by circumstances and situations that constantly beat on us and seek to undermine our faith.

It’s not that our faith weakens as a whole, but in the place where discouragement and despair continually DRIP…there is a place of weakness that often develops, and just as water can wear away a hole in a rock, so the situation wears a hole in some area of our faith.

Now, most of us will push back and simply begin to declare the promises of God over our life…WHICH IS ALWAYS THE RIGHT THING TO DO…but, we often don’t capture in mind, the total healing of our soul that the Lord desires to give until we really stop and recognize the gravity of the issues we have dealt with.

Believers often refuse to acknowledge the issues they deal with, because they feel it diminishes their faith.

Let me say…
It is not weakness OR a lack of faith to acknowledge your pain, discouragement, situation, or problem.

In fact, the acknowledgment of these is the beginning of healing.

King David had something to say about this.
Of all people, he was a man of faith.

He believed he could slay the giant.
Why did he believe this? Because he could recount the stories of God’s faithfulness in helping him kill the bear, and the lion.

Because he knew that God had come through before, he knew, and had faith that the Lord would come through AGAIN.

What would have happened if David had refused to recognize the problems when they arose?
Here’s what would have happened…The lion and the bear would have stolen David’s sheep.

When we won’t recognize the problems in our life, we are empowering the problems to steal from us.

You recognize the problem, so that you can NAME the problem, and defeat the problem through the promises of God.
You speak to the mountain…BY NAME.
You speak to the situation…BY NAME.
You speak to the devils surrounding you…BY NAME.
With the authority of his Word, you command them to cease their attack, and leave.

Listen to what David said.

Psalm 40:1-3 NKJV
[1] I waited patiently for the LORD; And He inclined to me, And heard my cry.

David was in a place where it felt like the Lord couldn’t hear him. There is no telling which of the terrible situations that David is referring to in this Psalm.
He could be referring to when Saul had him on the run, or when Saul was throwing spears at him in the palace.
Maybe it was referring to some sickness he incurred or to his situation involving Absalom, his son.

Either way, David was facing tremendous difficulty, and prophetically, he writes this song about his experience…not knowing that his words would become a part of scripture or that thousands of years later, we would be reading about the turmoil of his heart and it would give us hope.

Here’s the first thing we have to know:

If I want the Lord’s help, I must cry out to him and wait patiently for him.

REMEMBER…
God hasn’t left the building.
God hasn’t left your life.
The Lord hasn’t stopped listening for the sound of your voice, but, there are moments when we have to stop and CRY OUT to him, then WAIT PATIENTLY for him to RESPOND.

The word, “inclined,” in this passage holds the meaning of “turning” or “influencing,” and even “bending down.”

Did you know that God is bending down to hear your voice every time you pray and seek his face?

The Lord didn’t answer immediately, so David WAITED and waited and waited…without giving up…until the Lord BENT DOWN to set him free.

David’s cry turned the face of the Lord toward him and influenced the outcome of the situations.

Don’t you think that the Lord who loved you enough to give Jesus in your place will be influenced by your difficulties and turned by your cry?
Often, we are simply not patient enough to see the Lord come through for us.

The word, “wait,” in this verse means to “look for” and to “hope.” It also means to “expect.” One of the most peculiar meanings of the word, “wait,” in this passage is to “linger for.”

**In other words, David’s waiting caused him to LOOK FOR a different outcome than what you would normally expect. His waiting made him have HOPE that God would actually come through for him. **

David’s expectation about the normal outcome changed.
Why? Because David “lingered in” the Lord’s presence until it refreshed his soul, super-charged his faith, and stabilized his emotions.

When you LINGER in God’s presence, something good always happens.

What was the result?

[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.

I love this!
Not only did the Lord pull David up, and lift his heart out of this trap, but there was something even more practical that happened.

The Lord STABILIZED David’s surroundings, then he ESTABLISHED his STEPS.

Let me tell you…
There is a rock for your soul.
A stable place for your feet.
A place of safety from the pit that you’ve been pulled into.

When your life is founded and built upon Jesus, he is the ROCK you stand on.
This was prophetic of Christ.

Jesus is the “stone” which the builders rejected.
He brings a foundation of strength into your soul when all around, surroundings seem slippery.

He also ESTABLISHES your steps.

What does the Bible say?
*“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord.” *

In other words, the Lord will lead you in what to do next and where to step next.

We’ve got to learn to let God stabilize us, but also to listen for the direction of Holy Spirit and allow him to lead us in our 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.

Here’s the result…
God came through for David.

It created a heart of worship and praise!

The devil wants to stop you with problems and circumstances that lock you in place…Where you feel immobilized.

But God has a way OUT!
When he brings you out…don’t forget to raise up your praise and worship to God!

YOUR PRAISE BECOMES YOUR TESTIMONY OF GOD’S GOODNESS IN YOUR LIFE.

David was a praise-er.
He was quick to lift up his voice to the Lord in worship.
It opened his heart and created a living testimony for others to see.

They didn’t have to ask…they KNEW that God had come through.

I’ll tell you another secret:
DAVID NEVER WAITED TO PRAISE AND WORSHIP.

We learn from other passages that David OFTEN worshipped the Lord in the middle of the pit.
He didn’t wait on the deliverance, instead, he praised before the answer came.

His praise was a battle cry.
His worship was spiritual warfare against the enemy.
He was declaring the Lord’s power and greatness in advance of God’s arrival on the scene.

  • It brought down walls.
  • It broke barriers.
  • It broke the back of the enemy.

You don’t have to WAIT for the answer to begin your praise.
In fact, we ought to worship the Lord BEFORE the answer ever comes.

By faith we worship.
By faith we praise.

Some would say, “God hasn’t done anything yet.”

Here’s the deal…

We are not waiting on God to move, we are waiting because we KNOW BY FAITH THAT GOD IS MOVING.

Even when it doesn’t appear in a tangible way, we still praise and worship the name of Jesus because we know by faith that he is defeating the enemy behind the scenes.

Listen to what the next verse says…

Psalm 40:4 NKJV
[4] Blessed is that man who makes the LORD his trust, And does not respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.

To make the Lord your “trust” means that you believe him even when you do not yet SEE the answer.

What we “SEE,” we don’t have to “trust” for.

David is saying…
“Other people might turn aside and stop believing, but not ME.”

He was blessed because of his faithful stance, and we also will be blessed when we stand in faith believing for the Lord to come through!

I said earlier…David remembered the things God had done for him and the times when the Lord had come through.

Listen to what he says…

Psalm 40:5 NKJV
[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.

This verse echoes another one of my favorite verses.

Psalm 139:17-18 NKJV
[17] How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! [18] If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; When I awake, I am still with You.

“When I awake…”

  • God hasn’t left you, in your night season.
  • God hasn’t forsaken you, when it seems hard to hear his voice.
  • God hasn’t stopped directing you, when your steps seem slippery.

He is just as present as ever.
The Lord is watching over you, rejoicing over you, and pouring his love upon you.
These verses literally declare to us that WE ARE THE FOCUS OF GOD’S HEART.

His thoughts about us are too numerous to count…it literally means we can’t count that high!
We can’t count the thoughts of God “in order,” because we have no idea what he has been doing behind the scenes…there are things we may never know about until after this life.

  • How many times has the Lord thought of you and kept you safe even when you didn’t know it?
  • How many times has the Lord directed your steps away from evil, when you didn’t even realize evil was so close?
  • How many times has the Lord thought of you and blessed you even when you didn’t deserve it?

Here’s how we need to respond and apply the truths of this:

  1. Cry out to the Lord and WAIT on him, because he WILL show up.
  2. Trust him at all times, especially when it doesn’t make sense.
  3. Worship and praise the Lord by faith, and use your praise as a weapon to defeat the enemy.
  4. Take comfort in the fact that the Lord is ALWAYS THINKING ABOUT YOU.

Larry Shankle

My heart is for the church that Jesus is building and returning for...the church that the gates of hell will not prevail against.
More than anything, the desire of my heart is to see the greatest revival of the Holy Spirit, salvations, spiritual awakening, and for the miraculous to come back to the church, preparing believers for the return of Jesus.

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