Facing the Pit of Despair

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.
Psalm 40:1-3

Dear brothers and sisters, there may be times where we find ourselves within a pit of despair. It is nothing to be ashamed of admitting. Life is challenging at times, and we sometimes get trapped by our circumstances, choices, or both. Psalm 40:1-3 states that God turns to us when we cry out to Him. He will lift us up and keep us steady. 

I remember a teacher of mine once saying “to despair is to be without God” and I believe that she is correct. When we despair, we give up our focus on our God. We have filled our minds with the anxieties, worries, and things that are not of God. It sometimes feels like we are in a pit and we cannot climb out because of all the mud. We have to simply turn to God and call out to Him.

Now, it is simple, but it isn’t always easy to lose the feeling of despair. It is simple because we are free to call out directly to God because of His Son who died for us. Yet it isn’t always easy because our minds may hold us back from running to our Father’s open arms. Mental health struggles have kept me from running to God. I have been trapped in the pit of despair multiple times, and the mud of anxiety and depression have left me feeling dirtied and unworthy of calling out to God.

Yet, we should praise the Lord! We don’t have to be perfectly clean to be worthy of calling out to God. Our savior, Jesus, has washed us clean with His blood. We can come before God without worrying that He will condemn us for not having enough of our lives sorted out. We may approach His throne with confidence that He will be merciful and that His grace will surround us  and lead us (Hebrews 4:16). I have seen His grace surround me, and I have felt His love around me when my friend prayed over me, and I felt His spirit lead me to find a church where I have been learning more about God and His character.

He will guide us to solid ground and walk with us, helping us keep steady. We just have to hold tightly to Him, keeping our eyes upon Him. We can cling tightly to His promises to block out the doubt that the devil tries to whisper to us. Let this be a part of our testimony, and let us worship our Father for His love and faithfulness to us.

A side note to all my brothers and sisters who also struggle with mental health, please seek out God’s resources. There is no shame in seeking out wise people who can help us heal from our pasts and negative self-preservation habits. Counseling can be a major help to us. I know it has helped me start on my path to healing.

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