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Out of The Depths

by Julius Hovan

Hovans(Transcribed from the Words of Life Radio Program)

We welcome you to this broadcast of Words of Life.  Those words, Words of Life, bring great hope into your life, into the life of those whom you might now. And we are glad that we can come this morning and share with you the Word of God.

A  few weeks ago I delivered a message on this radio broadcast from one of the psalms. And I would like to return to those psalms this morning and turn to Psalm 40. If you are where you can have a Bible with you and you can listen in as well, we urge you to turn there as we read from the Word of God. Listen to the words of the psalmist David.
‘I waited patiently for Jehovah and he inclined unto me and heard my cry.’ Now listen to what happened. ‘He brought me up also out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay and he set my feet upon a rock and he has established my goings. He has put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God.  And many will see it and fear this great God.’

These verses give us a contrasting picture of the situation into which men often find themselves. You have heard the expression he was in the depths of despair. Or they were just in the dark. Or just unable to function properly. That happens in life.  It is part of the living of life. And we need to be lifted to new heights of light and life. And God can use such situations when you are having difficulty, when stress is evident in your life. God wants to use those situations to draw us to himself and in the process to give us peace and great blessing.

Anyone can descend into the depths of despair, like the man David, a man after God’s own heart. Man can be plunged into sorrow and into shame and, indeed, was David. And so was the Savior in Gethsemane who prayed fervently and underwent great depths of grief and despair because of my sins and the sins of the whole world that would be put upon him as he died on the cross.

Many a great bereavement will come to us in life as we stand at the grave of a precious loved one. Many bitter trials come to lead us astray and to lead us into depression. We have a heart breaking experience of some kind, and there are many of those or we are simply fearful of the unknown. All of these can plunge us into the depths of despair.

David was there.  He lived for a year with that sin without confessing it and his bones wasted away. He was eaten up with the guilt.  We need to know as David knew and came to know. There is a way that we can be lifted up, that we can be brought from the pit,  that we can no longer have to be downtrodden. There is a way to mend our brokenness. There is a way to send light into our darkness, hope into our despair and light where death rears its ugly head.  God’s very nature is to do such things for the heart of the people of faith that will seek him.

I want you to think about that as we consider this psalm this morning. Think of being brought out of the depths of such a situation. Though we are there in the depths, we can see out. We can see a little light, as they say, at the end of the tunnel.  We can see things of beauty as we look up to the blue sky above us. I can understand—and I have never experienced it, but I can understand how it would be so—that if you were down in a mine shaft or a well and you are way down there where it is really dark, if the sky above you is able to be seen, the opening at the top, you will be able to see stars even in the day time. And so it is our dark situation, times of despair, that show up clearly the light of God and his precious hope that he gives to us. And he is just waiting for us to look up out of the depths so he can send us help.

Did not Jesus say that blessed are they that mourn and they will be comforted? God specializes in such blessing, in such comfort, in providing such hope in the face of dire circumstances.  The glory of the gospel is that it binds up broken hearts. It gives light to men that are in the darkness and the shadow of death.

I say to you today look up.  Look out of the depths of despair where you may be and understand that God is looking back to catch your attention and to offer you hope if you will look to him. Look out of the depths, but also look into the depths. We may lack the ability to see the real need of our most crucial and critical situation. God is able to look there into our depths of despair. Remember, he saw the woman Hagar in her time of desolation. He saw Israel at the Red Sea with the army of pharaoh coming up behind them, and He delivered them.  He saw the prodigal son way off in that far hog pen and he brought the hope that that young man needed as he looked into the depths and out of the depths and came to his senses and went back to his father.

God sees every person who looks up to him for help as well as those who do not seek him. God sees them and he is just waiting for them to look up to him. So I say to you today, look up. Look out of any situation and meet the eyes of God looking back at you. And you can find that as you turn to the Word of God.

But I want you to notice something else that the psalmist does here.  He not only looks out of the depths, but he also calls unto God out of the depths.  We see that in his hopelessness and it is in the time of hopelessness that we seek that help.

I think of another psalm of the great man David, the 51st Psalm, in which he pours his heart out to God. In verses one, two and three in Psalm 51 he says have mercy upon me, oh God, according to your loving kindness. According to the multitude of your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions.  Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions and my sin is ever before me.

What a picture of man in his humanness, in his sinfulness. David calls to God. His call is for mercy. And so in our hopelessness, we look out of that and we look for hope. We look for help. We can call for that help.

David’s cry from the miry pit of sin and sorrow was answered by almighty God. We will remember the man Simon Peter when he recognized he had denied the Lord Jesus, we read that he wept bitterly. I do not doubt his confession, his recognition that he had done wrong and then his full repentance and, yes, also God’s full forgiveness. Jesus forgave him completely.

Listen to the Son of God, Jesus himself in his time of greatest need at Gethsemane where he sweat great drops of blood due to what was to be put upon him. He called out to his Father. The Father did not remove the cup, but provided strength for him to endure the bitter death of Calvary.

Now we must think about that for a practical application.  We do not always get exactly the type of deliverance we want or that we think is best. But if we are willing to leave it to God and let him provide the answer in his good and perfect will, we will get what is best for us. For often times we do not know what is best.

Our pride often prevents us from calling out to God. Maybe we have to become completely overwhelmed with despair. And when we are plunged into a horrible pit, we cry out earnestly and we plead loudly to God.  And so throughout the ages, men have been crying out as the disciples did on that stormy sea of Galilee, ‘Master, save us or we perish’.  Can you look out of your situation today and find God? He is there? You can know he is there. Have you cried out to him to provide help, to provide willingness to lead you out of that pit and into greater blessings?
There is a good point we will use to close this broadcast this morning. Listening for the cry, not only are we looking out of the depths of despair and looking into that terrible situation whereby we have called out to God or will call out to him. The good news is he is listening for the cry of the one who is in sorrow and in the depths of despair.  Think about this statement. All of our crying, all of our calling out to God, would be of no avail if there was no one to listen. But we are told God inclines his ear to us. He hears us.

Some of us old folks are hard of hearing so often times we will put a hand up behind our ear to catch what somebody is saying to us. I can just picture the heavenly Father with his hand to his ear, turning to hear my cry for help, your cry for help. He can help when everyone and everything around us is not able to help.

Listener, this morning is your heart crying out?  Maybe you are living under the guilt of sin. Maybe you are struggling with a habit that is destroying your life, drugs or alcohol or sexual promiscuity or whatever it might be. God’s Word clearly teaches us that even the feeblest, faintest cry sent in honest faith to God will not escape God’s monitoring system.
Remember the words of Jesus when he taught us in Matthew seven to ask and what will happen? You are going to get something when you ask. Seek and what will happen? You can find. Knock and what? The door will be open unto you.  Look and cry out to God. God is listening to you.  There is the listening in heaven for the cry from we mortal people in all of our weakness and all of our sinfulness. Be very careful. I am not saying to you that you just go out and live your life like you want to and when you have made a terrible mistake and get in trouble, then you can call to God and he will come running. God is not a watch dog sitting in the back yard and if we whistle he comes running to help us. No, we have to have a heart that is sincere and that says to God, I not only want you to help me in this time of need and despair, but I want you to walk with me day by day.  I am committing myself to you fully and completely and putting my trust in the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ.

If there is a crying out of the depths of despair, if there is someone listening when we cry from there, the good news, in conclusion to this message, is that God will lift you out of the depths.  We do the looking and the crying out and God is listening and he has the power.

Let’s go back to that 40th Psalm, if we may, and notice there the words found in the second and third verses again. ‘He brought me out, out of this horrible pit, out of the miry clay and set my feet upon a rock and established my going and has put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God. Many shall see it and hear’.
Those verses say it well.  Do you hear what they are giving to you? To those who cry out to God, to those who by an act of their will put their trust in him, God hears their call and God lifts them up out of the depths of darkness, out of some horrible pit, out of the filthy mire that sin brings into our lives. And he lifts us out of the heaviness and guilt that sin brings to us.

But look at what else. He not only brings us out, but he does what? He sets our foot on solid ground.  He establishes us for the future. He gives us a song of praise in place of us singing the blues and crying. What a far reaching affect is the power and glory of this great God of ours.

What is your situation right now, today? Maybe you have tuned into this broadcast by accident? Maybe you have just been led by the hand of God to tune in, to know that there is hope for you in whatever mess life has put upon you or you have gotten yourself into. Whatever that situation, you have a message of hope. Do you understand you can turn to the Word of God and to God himself for that help if you are willing to listen, if you are willing to follow?  For whom is such a promise? You might not believe it is for you.  You think you have been a sinner too long or have done too many horrible things. No. That great verse of John 3:16 that whosoever believes, whosoever comes and accepts the price Jesus paid, they can have everlasting life. That word, whosoever, covers every one of us and covers all of our predicaments, for God is anxious to help us.

We have a song in our hymnals that has this line. In loving kindness Jesus came, my soul in mercy to reclaim. Does the devil have your soul today? If you were to die would you go to meet the devil instead of going to be with the Lord which is far better?  Do you need to accept the Lord Jesus? Contact us. Contact a Christian minister or a Christian person and receive that blessing of healing in your soul, in your heart, in your mind.


Julius Hovan is minister of the Bohon Church of Christ, Bohon, KY.

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The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

John 10:10