The Pit of Despair

Re: Verse reading–Numbers 13:26-33; 14:1-9 (day six)

In the Princess Bride, Wesley finds himself in the Pit of Despair where he is tortured and ultimately dies…at least mostly. His body is rescued by soon-to-be accomplices. They then take his body to a magician who works a miracle on the mostly-dead Wesley. Immediately he becomes conscious, but must slowly regain his strength over the course of the movie in order to rescue the damsel in distress. Great movie!

We too can find ourselves in our own pits of despair, with no apparent way out. It could be related to health, finances, or relationships; regardless of the source, we can feel helpless and hopeless. That is how the spies felt in Numbers 13 and 14 (except Joshua and Caleb) as they faced the obstacles ahead of them in claiming the Promised Land. They couldn’t see how they could overcome it; they were helpless and hopeless, and it infected everybody. With the obstacles so great, they had forgotten all that God had already done as well as his promises. We can fall into this sin just as quickly, can’t we?

The apostle Paul wrote from prison in Philippians 4:12-13, “I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Two things to notice here, one Paul learned, it wasn’t immediate, he had to grow in the Gospel; two, God did not necessarily whisk him away out of every despair inducing circumstance. It is clear, like Joshua and Caleb, Paul learned to cling to the promises of God based on what Jesus had done in the Gospel. Even though we may find ourselves in the pit, we do not despair because Jesus has already overcome the world; his promises hold true for all eternity!

That is far better than a giant miracle pill!

Author: Danny Panter

Danny is the Associate Pastor for NextGen Marrieds & Community Missions at FBCSA.

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