I would like to start out by sharing Isaiah 38:17 with you today.
“Surely it was for my benefit that I suffered such anguish. In your love you kept me from the pit of destruction; you have put all my sins behind your back.”
You see dear friends, I lived most of my life in a pit of destruction, self-loathing, anger, hopelessness, despair and pain. I didn’t even realize I was in this pit until I started studying the Bible with Beth Moore. The Lord was able to use her in my life so I could see Him and myself clearly. My brother didn’t have the advantage of making it out of the pit, but I did. I want you to know if you are in a pit, there is a way out and I am here to help you. I want to be as transparent as I possibly can be and share everything I have learned with you.
One of the hurdles getting out of the pit was my self-loathing. I wanted out, but I was so full of ways to knock myself down. Beth Moore says, “Our self-condemning hearts can’t block our forgiveness, but they can keep us from feeling it. The result will be a twisted resignation to our own capacity to sin rather than confidence in God’s capacity to restore us. We will never stay out of the pit until we believe all the way to the marrow of our bones that God has forgiven us.” I knew I was forgiven, but I had the hardest time forgiving myself and not condemning myself. I had to fill my mind with as much scripture as I could possibly find and ask the Lord to help me and heal me in this area. Beth goes on to say, “We lay all our sins at God’s feet; He picks them up and throws all of them behind His back. We want our past behind God’s back. That way we’ll have to go through God to get back to them. Our tendency to return over and over to the pit is driven by our deep conviction that we’ll never be anything but trash. Never be anything but defeated. Not feeling forgiven is a far more powerful motivator to re-enter a pit than feeling forgiven will ever be. Those that jump back in never really believed what God said about throwing their sins behind His back.”
The image of God taking my sins and throwing them behind His back was exactly what I needed to see. I was the problem, not God. I was the one who kept bringing things up that I couldn’t let go of. I was the one that was condemning and unforgiving of myself. He was waiting for me to get to the point that I believed Him and He gave me all the help and support I needed to get to the point that I believed Him. He said, “Laurie, I have put all your sins behind my back. They are gone! You have to go through me to see them. But, they are gone because I love you and I have cleansed you.”
In order to get out of the pit, I had to believe God and His word. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All scripture is given by God and is useful for teaching, for showing people what is wrong in their lives, for correcting faults, and for teaching how to live right. Using the scriptures, the person who serves God will be capable, having all that is needed to do every good work.” These verses tell us that God gives us His word to accomplish anything, and that means getting out of the pit! His word brings us life and helps us in amazing ways. I can’t tell you how many years I lived my life not believing I could get better! I wasted so much time beating myself up instead of believing God’s word was there to help me. Dear friends, please believe these verses. You can get out of the pit and stay out! Reading scripture and believing it saved my life! That is why I try to put scripture in my posts. Each scripture has helped me in one way or another.
I responded to the Lord by saying, “Lord, I have lived most of my life in the pit. I didn’t know there was a better way to live. I didn’t know how to get out! The pit is all I have ever known. Life outside of the pit is scary, but I want to be free and the only way to live that way is to follow You out and live in the freedom that You want me to have. I was on a path of self-destruction and I desperately want to live differently! You are my rope out! Please keep me from falling back in!”
A huge part of my problem was also not thinking that the Lord looked at me with favor. I know that term isn’t used much anymore, but I wanted to use it to explain my view of the way God looked at me because it was one of the reasons I stayed in the pit. Favor means kindness; approval; friendly regard from a superior. I didn’t think the Lord was looking at me with kindness, approval or with a smiling face most of the time. My view was definitely screwed up. It took me living out of the pit for awhile to realize that God shows me favor every day. Because of His favor, I am able to be forgiven and live in freedom. His heart is so big that He chooses to love me even when I don’t deserve it.
I am going to end today with a story in the Bible about a man named Joseph. His brothers were very jealous of him, so they threw him in a pit and made it look like he was dead to their father. They sold him into slavery but God watched over him and protected him and he eventually became a ruler in charge of Egypt. He eventually had to face his brothers that mistreated him all those years ago and he could have done anything he wanted to them, but he showed them favor. In Genesis 50:20 Joseph said to his brothers, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” If we will let Him, God can take whatever has happened to us, and use it to help others. That is what I want Him to do with me. He shows me favor by allowing me to share with you all the things He has done for me. I pray that you will see His favor today and everyday! Until next time and thanks for reading!
Psalm 40:12 “He lifted me out of the pit of destruction, out of the sticky mud. He stood me on a rock and made my feet steady.”