Life in the Pit
Once I was given the topic "Faith Lifted Me" ... presumably that life is in the pit and faith is the answer, the ladder to help you climb out of the hole of depression. But is faith really the answer? When you are depressed, you wonder, "Where is God? Why doesn't He answer my prayer?"
I left fulltime ministry in June 1994. It seemed easier to enter fulltime ministry than to leave because I entered as a single and I was leaving with a wife and two children. I estimated that our savings would last us about a year or so. I had difficulty finding a job because many felt that my skills in ministry were not transferable to the corporate world. But I had left and I couldn't go forward ... I felt cornered. I felt like punching the wall ... I did ... punched the cupboard; it wasn't as hard!
33For He does not afflict willingly
From the above, we learnt that ...
Or grieve the sons of men.
34To crush under His feet
All the prisoners of the land,
35To deprive a man of justice
In the presence of the Most High,
36To defraud a man in his lawsuit --
Of these things the Lord does not approve.
37Who is there who speaks and it comes to pass,
Unless the Lord has commanded it?
38Is it not from the mouth of the Most High
That both good and ill go forth?
During the trying times, I hung on to the fact that God loves me ... though I could not see the purpose behind what I was going through ... that God is in control of the things that were happening to me.
- God does not take pleasure in our affliction and pain
- God is just and fair
- Both good and bad come from the Lord
I felt I needed wisdom and I read the Book of Proverbs from beginning to end then back to the beginning again ... read it several times. I knew that there was a probability that I would become "bitter" if I continued to focus on the negative; so I decided to pour my energy into something positive. I started to work on a book on dramatised family devotions. I had been acting out Bible stories with my two boys for the past three years and they had enjoyed the times together; the idea to write a book was conceived a year back; and now I decided to "deliver" this baby.
On looking back, I see a little "light" of God's sovereign control. It was partly due to the fact that I was writing a book that helped me secure a job. My boss was looking for someone who can train and write. Business was slow so I had time to learn and pick up computer skills.
Sometimes we are in a pit because we stumbled into it; other times, we slide into it ourselves, not realising that we are getting deeper and deeper!
39Why should any living mortal, or any man,
From this second passage, we learnt that ...
Offer complaint in view of his sins?
40Let us examine and probe our ways,
And let us return to the LORD.
41We lift up our heart and hands
Toward God in heaven;
42We have transgressed and rebelled,
You have not pardoned.
43You have covered Yourself with anger
And pursued us;
You have slain and have not spared.
44You have covered Yourself with a cloud
So that no prayer can pass through.
45You have made us mere offscouring and refuse
In the midst of the peoples.
46All our enemies have opened their mouths against us.
Yes, I did sin and had done things I should not have. What's the solution? Cry more? Repent more sincerely before God can forgive me?
- If we suffer affliction and our prayers are not answered because of our sins then we can't complain!
- There is a need for self-examination and honesty
The God who cannot tolerate sin is the same God who sent Christ to die on the cross for us.
"Come now, and let us reason together,"
Says the LORD,
"Though your sins are as scarlet,
They will be as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson,
They will be like wool.
6If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness,
we lie and do not practice the truth;
7but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light,
we have fellowship with one another,
and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.
8If we say that we have no sin,
we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.
9If we confess our sins,
He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins
and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
10If we say that we have not sinned,
we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.
1 John 1:6-10
Do you know why you are in a pit? If it is sin then confess and claim His forgiveness.
Regardless of how bad your situation is, no matter how deep a pit you have fallen into, God is there. He loves you and is in control of your circumstances. Stretch out your hand to God. He will take your hand and walk with you.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
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