Psalm 40 is a good model to follow when sin keeps tripping you up. It begins in verses 1-5 with a praise to God for what He has already done, then in verses 6-10 King David testifies to his faithfulness to God, and finally, in verses 11-17, David appeals to God for help and protection.
We encourage you to read the entire seventeen verses of this psalm. To get you started, here are some key verses…
(1-3) “I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. 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.”
(5) “Many, LORD my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you have planned for us. None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare.”
(6-8) “Sacrifice and offering you do not desire – but my ears you opened – burnt offerings and sin offerings you do not require. Then I said, Here I am, I have come – it is written about me in the scroll. I desire to do your will, my God; your law is in my heart.”
(9-10) “I proclaim your saving acts in the great assembly; i do not seal my lips, LORD, as you know. 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.”
(11-13) “Do not withhold your mercy from me, LORD; may your love and faithfulness always protect me. For troubles without number surround me; my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see. They are more than the hairs on my head, and my heart fails within me. Be pleased to save me, LORD; come quickly, LORD, to save me.”
And finally, in verse 17 we see a plea for God’s help…
“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.”
When sin trips you up, repent and ask God for forgiveness, accept His forgiveness, and ask Him to come quickly to help you. And hear this, when you faithfully ask for God to forgive you, He does so, regardless of the “size” of your sin or how many times you have fallen in the same hole.
The vastness of God’s love for you is shown in these words, from Psalm 103:11-12, “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” Need more proof? How about this, “You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea (Micah 7:19).”
In nautical terminology a lifeline is any of various lines running above the decks of a ship or boat to give sailors something to grasp when there is danger of falling or being washed away. When you are in danger of being washed away by sin, God wants to throw you a lifeline. Will you grab it?