While you are building a business, life has a way of interjecting itself.
That is when you need the affirmation I am sharing today.
It could give you the strength to get to the other side of the darkness and continue to build your dream.
Long before I began to build my business, I went through the hardest, darkest hour of my life. Because someone pointed me to the Psalms, I was clinging to them on a daily basis. I have never needed the Psalms like I did then; but I do revisit them frequently.
Last night I read one of the best. Psalm 40. And I decided that although Psalm 40 isn’t terribly business related, it is very life related. Life, that thing that asserts itself when you least expect it, can hinder your business plan.
So I hope you don’t ever need Psalm 40; but I really do hope that you do. Until then, you will never understand how great it is to have the LORD help you.
Here is the whole Psalm.
For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.
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 the Lord
and put their trust in him.
4 Blessed is the one
who trusts in the Lord,
who does not look to the proud,
to those who turn aside to false gods.
5 Many, Lord my God,
are the wonders you have done,
the things you planned for us.
None can compare with you;
were I to speak and tell of your deeds,
they would be too many to declare.
6 Sacrifice and offering you did not desire—
but my ears you have opened—
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, my God;
your law is within my heart.”
9 I proclaim your saving acts in the great assembly;
I do not seal my lips, Lord,
as you know.
10 I do not hide your righteousness in my heart;
I speak of your faithfulness and your saving help.
I do not conceal your love and your faithfulness
from the great assembly.
11 Do not withhold your mercy from me, Lord;
may your love and faithfulness always protect me.
12 For troubles without number surround me;
my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see.
They are more than the hairs of my head,
and my heart fails within me.
13 Be pleased to save me, Lord;
come quickly, Lord, to help me.
14 May all who want to take my life
be put to shame and confusion;
may all who desire my ruin
be turned back in disgrace.
15 May those who say to me, “Aha! Aha!”
be appalled at their own shame.
16 But may all who seek you
rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who long for your saving help always say,
“The Lord is great!”
17 But as for me, I am poor and needy;
may the Lord think of me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
you are my God, do not delay. NIV
During those dark days, years ago, the first three verses were especially dear to me. The rest of Psalm 40 is certainly good. But today I will focus on the first three.
First of all, think in metaphorical terms. I was never in a slimy pit. David, who wrote the Psalm, probably wasn’t either. But you know the feeling.
Remember when you first got that sinking feeling.
Maybe you got separated from your parents at the park like I did once. They found me right away. But those short moments were my longest, up until then.
Maybe you heard that a loved one got the diagnosis from the doctor that you were all dreading. That was a longer moment.
Life gives us “moments” that feel like we are stuck in the slimy pit. The kind of pit that will suck us under, unless we find something solid to grab hold of or stand on.
That was Psalm 40 for me years ago.
Then I remembered that business can also do that to us.
You call your best friend, sure of her catching your excitement over your new business. Instead, the line gets really quiet. You realize that she is offended or embarrassed. Whatever, the slimy pit has you.
The next day you were going to make more phone calls but by then you are up to your arms in the slimy pit. You can’t lift the phone. You don’t want to experience that horrible feeling.
You sit by the phone imagining that your best friend has called all your mutual friends and told them that you are doing “one of those things”. You hear their shrill laughter.
The slimy pit now is seeking to cover you.
Or maybe, you started this business because you were just making ends meet. It has meant extra expenses and now finances are even tighter. Your spouse isn’t excited about the business and the extra time it takes you.
But you still believe that with time it will pay off. One more fight with your spouse and you feel the slimy pit overwhelm you.
Slimy pit is the Biblical metaphor for what keeps us awake at night.
God is the Rock that we can stand on. He is the One that will place us on that Rock.
He heard David’s cry and He heard mine and He will hear yours.
Just cry out to Him. Tell Him what is going on and how you are feeling. He already knows it; but He wants to hear from you.
Then wait patiently.
Perhaps the hardest three words – then wait patiently. But David starts the Psalm with “I waited patiently . . .” That makes it pretty important. Wouldn’t you agree?
So wait patiently.
Father God, Lord God, I wait patiently, as patiently as I know how. I am stuck in the mud. It is drawing me down like quicksand. I need You to lift me out of the slimy pit, the miry mud and set me on the solid Rock. I wait patiently. I wait patiently for You to lift me out of the slimy pit and set me upon the solid Rock. In Jesus name, Amen.
To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.
I waited patiently for the Lord;
And He inclined to me,
And heard my cry.
2 He also brought me up out of a horrible pit,
Out of the miry clay,
And set my feet upon a rock,
And established my steps.
3 He has put a new song in my mouth—
Praise to our God;
Many will see it and fear,
And will trust in the Lord.
4 Blessed is that man who makes the Lord his trust,
And does not respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.
5 Many, O Lord my God, are Your wonderful works
Which You have done;
And Your thoughts toward us
Cannot be recounted to You in order;
If I would declare and speak of them,
They are more than can be numbered.
6 Sacrifice and offering You did not desire;
My ears You have opened.
Burnt offering and sin offering You did not require.
7 Then I said, “Behold, I come;
In the scroll of the book it is written of me.
8 I delight to do Your will, O my God,
And Your law is within my heart.”
9 I have proclaimed the good news of righteousness
In the great assembly;
Indeed, I do not restrain my lips,
O Lord, You Yourself know.
10 I have not hidden Your righteousness within my heart;
I have declared Your faithfulness and Your salvation;
I have not concealed Your lovingkindness and Your truth
From the great assembly.
11 Do not withhold Your tender mercies from me, O Lord;
Let Your lovingkindness and Your truth continually preserve me.
12 For innumerable evils have surrounded me;
My iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to look up;
They are more than the hairs of my head;
Therefore my heart fails me.
13 Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me;
O Lord, make haste to help me!
14 Let them be ashamed and brought to mutual confusion
Who seek to destroy my life;
Let them be driven backward and brought to dishonor
Who wish me evil.
15 Let them be confounded because of their shame,
Who say to me, “Aha, aha!”
16 Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You;
Let such as love Your salvation say continually,
“The Lord be magnified!”
17 But I am poor and needy;
Yet the Lord thinks upon me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
Do not delay, O my God.
I don’t believe that I can do a better job of speaking the affirmation than the Psalmist David, who spoke by inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
That’s why I quoted the whole Psalm in a second different translation.
Read through either translation or both. As you read the metaphors, imagine that they are your real life problem.
If you don’t have the money to pay the mortgage, that is your slimy pit.
If you feel like your list is exhausted, that is your slimy pit.
If your strongest leg just joined another MLM, that is your slimy pit.
Whatever you are facing let God know; and wait patiently for Him to set you up on the Rock.
As you wait patiently, read Psalm 40 every day. Memorize it. Focus on it every day.
Feel free to message me with how God works.