The Pit of Despair 

There are many instances in a person’s life that could cause despair. The death of a parent, spouse, child, or even worse the death of an innocent life that’s barely got started, can be devastating to us. A child going wayward and getting involved in drugs.The betrayal of one spouse to another via an affair, spousal lies, or spousal abuse. Each and every instance can, and usually is, devastating. 

And pretty much everyone I know has suffered one or more of the above instances in their lives. But for me spousal betrayal mixed with lies and abuse (whether physical or emotional) seems to be one of the hardest to face in my mind. After all, it all stems from the one who promised to love and cherish their spouse as a conscious vow that their spouse made to their supposed to be life-long partner. I’ve seen it in action, and the results are devastating to the families and children involved. 

In my life, I’ve experienced many times of deep, lasting despair. The type that causes me to weep uncontrollably, be unable to eat, and enters me into long bouts of insomnia. The type where it drives me to my knees. The hurt is so deep that during those times, I wondered if I would ever recover and be whole again. 

Take a look at Psalm 88:

1 O LORD, God of my salvation, I cry out day and night before you. 

2 Let my prayer come before you; incline your ear to my cry! 

3 For my soul is full of troubles, and my life draws near to Sheol [death].

4 I am counted among those who go down to the pit; I am a man who has no strength, 

5 like one set loose among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave, like those whom you remember no more, for they are cut off from your hand. 

6 You have put me in the depths of the pit, in the regions dark and 

7 Your wrath lies heavy upon me, and you overwhelm me with all your waves. Selah 

8 You have caused my companions to shun me; you have made me a horror to them. I am shut in so that I cannot escape; 

9 my eye grows dim through sorrow. Every day I call upon you, O LORD; I spread out my hands to you. 

10 Do you work wonders for the dead? Do the departed rise up to praise you? Selah 

11 Is your steadfast love declared in the grave, or your faithfulness in Abaddon [hell]? 

12 Are your wonders known in the darkness, or your righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?

13 But I, O LORD, cry to you; in the morning my prayer comes before you. 

14 O LORD, why do you cast my soul away? Why do you hide your face from me? 

15 Afflicted and close to death from my youth up, I suffer your terrors; I am helpless. 

16 Your wrath has swept over me; your dreadful assaults destroy me. 

17 They surround me like a flood all day long; they close in on me together. 

18 You have caused my beloved and my friend to shun me; my companions have become darkness. 

Can you feel the utter hopelessness and despair of the psalmist? I’ve been there, and at a few times in my life, this could have been my cry to the Lord. 

But, thankfully God hears the cries of His children, and He lends an ear to our honest pleas. Be assured that “For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.” (Psalm 30:5 ESV)

Even when we are faced with those devastating times in our lives, God is right there by our side. “for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5b ESV) I believe that it is not His desire for us to face these overwhelming circumstances – I call them “Winter Experiences,” when everything seems dead. God can and does teach us great truths during those times, where our faith is strengthened, character is improved, and we learn to totally rely on God. “So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:6 ESV)

I am witness to these times in my life – joy indeed does come in the morning, and I have the assurance that when my time is done on this earth, and I dwell with my Lord forever more in Heaven, there I will experience the truest joy that will last forever and ever. 

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:4, ESV)

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