HOW TO GET YOUR LIFE OUT OF THE PIT
1 Peter 5:5-10
Intro: This notice appeared in the window of a coat store in Nottingham, England: We have been established for over 100 years and have been pleasing and displeasing customers ever since. We have made money and lost money, suffered the effects of coal nationalization, coal rationing, government control, and bad payers. We have been cussed and discussed, messed about, lied to, held up, robbed, and swindled. The only reason we stay in business is to see what happens next.
The store owner knew that life was full of difficulties. But he was determined to survive, even if only to hope for the best and “see what happens next.”
Christ’s followers have a much better reason to endure tough times as they live for Him. The Lord has assured us in His Word that better times are ahead. The psalmist reminded us that in spite of the prosperity of the wicked, the righteous will be vindicated.
Friends, there are times when we find our lives down in the pits. It just seems like we are in the doldrums. Sometimes it seems like we just lose our desire to go on for God and there are times when we just want to give up. Sometimes life just gets us down and we find ourselves in the pits. Does that ever happen to you? Some of you are there tonight. Life has jumped on you with both feet and you are just about ready to throw in the towel. Well, before you do, let me show you from this passage How To Get Your Life Out Of The Pits. God has a word of encouragement and instruction for you this evening.
- V. 5-6 SURRENDER YOUR WILL TO GOD
- Assume The Place Of Submission – We live in a day when men are all seeking their own way, but the child of God who wants to please the Lord will learn to allow God to have the place or preeminence in his life, Col. 1:18.
- Assume The Place Of Slavery – “Clothed with Humility” literally means to “wear the apron of a slave“. True humility before the Lord merely me assuming the place of a slave. (Ill. This is what Jesus did in the Upper Room – John 13:4-16.) In other words, I have no will but His will. I have no plan but His plan. I have ne desire but His desire. We are called His “bondslaves.” Eph. 6:6. “Servants” = “Bondslaves“
- Accept The Plan Of The Sovereign – If we can learn the way of humility, then the Lord will lift us up in His own way. As long as we seek to promote ourselves, we will never amount to much for the glory of God. However, when we turn loose of our lives and willingly place ourselves under the Lord, He will use us for His glory!
- Surrender Your Will to God
- V. 7 SEND YOUR WORRY TO GOD
- Conclusively – “Casting” – This verb refers to the act of “throwing or casting” something. It is in a form that refers to a one time deal. We are told here to “once for all, throw our burdens to Jesus!” When the worries of life press us down, we do not have to bear them alone! Thank God, there is One Who is stronger than we are and Who is willing to carry our load.
- Completely – Notice how much or our burden we are supposed to give to the Lord. “All you care“! He tells us to give Him everything! We are not so much as to keep even the smallest part of a burden to ourselves. We are told to give it all up to Jesus!
- Confidently – How can we do this? With the absolute confidence that He cares for us, Heb. 4:15. When we are burdened, it touches the heart of God and He is moved on our behalf. Please notice that this verb is in the “Present Tense, Active Voice and the Indicative Mood.” You may wonder what this means for you, well Present Tense means ongoing activity. Active Voice means the Lord Himself is involved. Indicative Mood means that it is a fact! Put it all together and we find that Jesus Christ, Himself, is actively involved in caring for us. Why the interest? Well, He has made quiet an investment in us (Ill. The Cross) and He will see to the needs that arise in our lives.
- Surrender Your Will To God
- Send Your Worry To God
III. V. 8-9 STRENGTHEN YOUR WALK WITH GOD
(Ill. We are told that we need to be “sober and vigilant“. This means that we need to get serious about some things, especially where the devil is concerned. Who do you think wants to get your life in the pits anyway? Who do you think is actively interested in seeing you miserable? Who do you think is working against you every day of your life? Yet, as we strengthen our walk with the Lord, we will see the path to victory over the devil!)
- Be Serious About The Devil’s Reality – This verse refers to a being that most of the world does believe in this evening. However, just in case there is any confusion in your mind, the devil is real! Jesus believes in him, the Bible believes in him, God believes in him, therefore, he must be real! Here, he is called “Adversary“. This word means, “An opponent, an enemy“. He is also called “the devil“. This name means “slanderer; or false accuser.” This is the same one who attacked the character and name of old Job; Job 1:6-12; Job 2:1-7. He is still the same old devil that he always was and he hates you and wants to see you fall. The sooner we come to realize the truth of Satan’s reality, the sooner we will see the need to strengthen our walks with God.
- Be Serious About The Devil’s Ferocity – The devil is compares to a “roaring lion” in this verse. Why a lion? Well, there are some similarities between the devil and lions.
- Lions Are Forceful – They are 14 to 21 times stronger than a man. Satan is far stronger than we are as well! We cannot fight him on our own. (Ill. Even Michael the Archangel wouldn’t fight the devil – Jude 9)
- Lions Are Ferocious – A mature lion can consume 30% 0f his own body weight at one setting. They are famous as the king of beasts and as the king of the jungle. All those who encounter them treat them with fear and respect. By the way, God’s children would do well to learn to respect the devil! We do not need to fear him, but he does have power that is far superior to our own natural abilities. He is a ferocious foe who is never satisfied with his conquests. He feeds on the carcase of the fallen ones and he rises to hunt more.
- Lions Are Fearful – A mature lion’s roar can be heard up to 5 miles away. Lions do most of their roaring at night. The reason they roar in the first place is to create fear in the hearts of those who hear them. This is just what the devil does too! He roars to create fear in the hearts of God’s children. Why? Because fear paralyzes faith! If the devil can get you to listen to his roar, he can keep you from hearing God’s Word. If he can paralyze your faith, then he can attack your life.
- Be Serious About The Devil’s Susceptibility – The good news about the devil is that he can be defeated by the child of God! The secret to overcoming him and changing his roar into a meow is to “resist“ him! This word means to “stand up against“ the devil! Be steadfast in your faith, knowing that the Lord has already defeated the devil and that victory for the child of God is found in the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, Rev. 12:9. You do not have to be a notch on the devil’s gun! Don’t let him have your honor, your family, your life, or anything else he is after. Stand against him and see the victory! You can resist him and you can see him defeated in your life. Learn the truth that if you will resist him, he will flee from you, James 4:7. Learn that true victory comes to those who will walk in “faith“; 1 John 5:4. Get to the place where you have no doubts as to the truth of 1 John 4:4. To get to that place requires that every child of God grow in the Lord and that we strengthen our walk with Him daily through prayer and the study of His Word!
- Surrender Your Will To God
- Send Your Worry To God
III. Strengthen Your Walk With God
- V. 10 SEE THE WORK OF GOD
(Il. One of the greatest incentives to walking in continuous victory is to be able to see the Lord at work all around you! Notice three thoughts:)
- The Grace We Now Enjoy – While we journey through those difficult days, while we fight the devil day by day, while we face those times when we are burdened with worries and cares, always remember that God’s grace is sufficient for you, 2 Cor. 12:9. Notice that He did not say that He would lift every load. He did not say that He would flatten every hill. He did not say that He would smooth out every rough spot. However, He did say that He would change you in the midst of your difficulty so that you could be successful in your walk with Him. There is grace for every trial, for every mils and for everything we face as we go through life! Thank God for matchless, marvelous, priceless, boundless, grace!
- The Grief We Must Endure – Verse 10 makes it plain that there will be difficulties along the road of life from time to time. The word “suffer’ bears this out for us. Jesus Himself said it would be so, John 16:33. Even Job knew that there would be difficult times in our lives, Job 14:1. God only had on Son Who did not sin, but He has no sons that do not suffer!
Let us remember that even when live is a veil of tears for us, that we have the Lord’s promise of His Presence, Heb. 13:5; Matt. 28:20; His Provision, Phil. 4:19; His Power, Matt. 28:18; and His Promotion, John 14:1-3. Therefore, let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith! Why, Because He has already ran the race and He knows the way!
- The Glory We Will Experience – This verse tells us that when the suffering days are over, there are glory days ahead! Notice what the Lord tells His children here: He will make us perfect, establish us, strengthen us and settle us. When will this happen? When we leave this world, we are going to a land where the things which trouble us now are not allowed to enter, Rev. 21:27. A place where the trials of the way and the tears of the way are all wipes away forever, Rev. 21:4. A place where trials and burdens are replaced with glory and peace, Rom. 8:18; 2 Cor. 4:17. A place where the devil cannot follow and where the Lord is the light.
We are going to a place where troubles and trials can no longer afflict the children of God. I look forward to that glorious day!
Conc: Is your life in the pits this evening? If so, there is a way out. Ask yourself the following questions and be honest:
Am I surrendering my will to God?
Am I sending my worries to God?
Am I strengthening my walk with God?
Am I seeing the work of God?
If the answer to any of these questions is no, then I would suggest that you come to Him tonight and get that area of your life straightened out. There is peace in Jesus. There is power in Jesus. You can get you life our of the pits this evening if you will do it God’s way!