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Summary: If you were sinking in quick sand, what would you do: Pray for help? Yell at God? Figure out an escape? Give up? Look for help?

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Getting Out of the Pit

Psalms 40:1-10

October 6, 2004 PM

Icebreaker:

If you were sinking in quick sand, would you:

(a) Pray for help? (b) Yell at God? (c) Figure out an escape? (d) Give up? (e) Look for help?

1 I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. 2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. 3 He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.

Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD. 4 Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods. 5 Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders you have done. The things you planned for us no one can recount to you; were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare. 6 Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but my ears you have pierced; burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require. 7 Then I said, "Here I am, I have come-- it is written about me in the scroll. 8 I desire to do your will, O my God;

your law is within my heart." 9 I proclaim righteousness in the great assembly; I do not seal my lips, as you know, O LORD. 10 I do not hide your righteousness in my heart; I speak of your faithfulness and salvation. I do not conceal your love and your truth from the great assembly. (NIV)

Psalms 40:1-40:10 From the Pits to Praise

I. The Lord’s Response

1 I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry.

Illustration:

When asked what running track taught him about patience, pastor Wayne Cordeiro of New Hope Christian Fellowship O’ahu answered:

Impetuous young athletes try to go faster than their ability allows. Unless a coach challenges this tendency, they’ll lack the strength needed to make it to the finish. During my junior and senior years at a small country high school, I ran track, practicing on a cinder track. Our coach used a sprinter’s harness——a vest attached to a telephone pole by ropes and pulleys——to assist in our training. With this antiquated contraption he could regulate the speed of a sprinter. I remember strapping on the vest, and Coach reeling me into the blocks. At the firing of a starting pistol, I pushed out of my starting position, cinders spraying like shrapnel from my track cleats. Coach slowly let out more rope, prolonging my tug-of-war with the pole.

In this slow-motion pose, the coach could adjust my form and correct my running posture. Best of all, the device built the "quick twitch muscles" required for sprinters. After 30 seconds or so, the coach would blow his whistle to end the ordeal. He’d reel me in, and we’d start the whole chase over again.

Coach would continually remind me, "This exercise will build the muscles and tensile strength you’ll need for endurance. You’ll have the stamina and power to take you to the finish line without your speed decreasing in the last few yards."

I always looked forward to the final sprint of the day——the one without the vest. When Coach fired the starter’s pistol, I blasted out of the blocks like a rocket!


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