Pits. Sometimes you fall into one. Sometimes you’re pushed in by others. Sometimes you just plain old jump in! Regardless of how you got there, a pit is a pit!
The pit is where your dream no longer seems possible; your marriage is destined for failure; your heart is broken and your life seems hopeless. It’s a place of debt, sickness, addiction, depression…. Pits come in all forms and they do not discriminate.
Joseph was favored by his father, anointed by God and destined for greatness. Despite this winning combination, he found himself in a pit, thanks to some jealous brothers (Genesis 37).
Maybe that’s you. Changing seasons of life always provide new opportunities for failure. For those of us who center our lives on Jesus, there are also opportunities for a suddenly! In one moment, everything can turn around!
Sound too good to be true? Read the Bible and you’ll realize that we serve the God of the suddenly, the God of the turnaround.
Joseph: suddenly taken from the pit to become second in command over the greatest nation of the world (Gen. 41). Daniel: suddenly delivered from the lion’s mouth (Daniel 6). The three Hebrew boys: suddenly delivered from a fiery furnace (Daniel 3). Jonah: suddenly released from the fish’s belly (Jonah 2). The disciples: suddenly catching a net-breaking, boat-sinking load of fish. And who can forget the classic story of Paul and Silas: suddenly set free from prison …by an earthquake (Acts 16).
What is the secret to their suddenlies? Can you experience a turn around, a suddenly from your pit? The answer is absolutely yes, yes and yes! Here’s how:
1. Evaluate your situation and forgive yourself if you jumped in the pit by not trusting God or by your sinful actions. Forgive those who pushed you in. A pure heart (free from bitterness) invites God to bring a suddenly. While enslaved and in the pit, Joseph worked out forgiveness for his brothers. The condition of your heart can determine the length of time spent in the pit!
2. Obey God’s word. One act of obedience can open the windows of heaven and release your instantaneous turn around. Peter, the commercial fisherman, knew better than to fish in daylight because the nets cast a shadow that scare the fish. Nevertheless, Jesus spoke, Peter obeyed and suddenly!
3. Praise through the pain. Reuben was the brother that put Joseph in his pit, but Judah (meaning praise) got him out. Over and over we see the power of praise causing a suddenly to take place. Despite being mercilessly beaten and chained to a prison wall, Paul & Silas praised God so loudly their fellow prisoners heard them. Their praise wasn’t out of joy. It came out of their pain.
A sudden instantaneous turn around are still God’s will for you. With these three steps you can and will experience a suddenly and come out of the pit. How desperate are you to come out? Oh yes! I need to add a fourth step and that is:
4. Get desperate. Believe it or not, there are people in a pit today that aren’t ready to come out because they’re not sick and tired of being sick and tired. So ask yourself Am I desperate enough to be delivered?
Now that you know the steps to take, stop being pitiful and put on praise!