Don’t Lose Heart

Do you remember the day that your world fell apart? Was it a diagnosis? Or a job loss? The ending of your marriage? Or the loss of a child? Or parent? Or someone very close? Was it the last straw in a bad situation gone worse than expected? Was it the last door closing on a much awaited second chance?

Did you get a call in the middle of the night with unexpected news? Was a false accusation thrown in your face? Was your credibility questioned? Were evil people trying to ruin your reputation? Were your enemies attacking you?

What was that thing that made you wonder how life could ever be good again? Did you wonder how you could go on? Did you wonder if life was worth living? Was all hope gone?

Even the best of us are faint of heart when our world bottoms out. Being in dire straits is not an everyday event in most of our lives. We don’t live by the seat of our pants for day to day survival. Oh. Once that may have been the case for some of another generation. But today. Today, we have most everything we want. And more. Life is pretty good for most of us. But on occasion, the bottom drops unexpectedly. It’s in those moments that we can question everything or cling to the Giver of Life.


I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Psalms 27:13


Our faith is the stronghold of life. Our faith is the lifeline we reach for when we’ve reached the end of our rope. Our faith in God can and will support us through our darkest days and nights.

I’ve felt overwhelmed when it seems my world was falling apart. I’ve worried about the future. I’ve had moments where I’ve wondered if I’ve lived my best life, and that the remaining life I have would be less than what I wanted.

Our momentary troubles today are sometimes of our own making. We drop our phone and the screen cracks. The brakes of the car are squealing and in need of new pads. The door of our three car garage isn’t working correctly. We dig ourselves into debt that we can’t climb out of. We start a new job hoping it’s the one, but instead turns out to be worse than the one we left. When we’ve worked through our self help list and finally give God a chance, God will help us. Why not go to him first?

Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world. John 16:33

If you’ve read Psalm 27, you know that David was in trouble. His enemies were in hot pursuit. They were closing in on him. No. He didn’t say a word against them. He turned to God, the only One who could rescue him. Instead of asking for enemies to be ruined, he asked for God’s grace and mercy to shine upon him.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. Isaiah 43:2

The goodness of the Lord is nothing to laugh at. Imagine how desperate we would be if we didn’t have the promises of God to rely on. Imagine the emptiness that must set into an unbeliever’s heart. What do they hope for when what they were hoping for falls through?

God’s goodness is so extreme, yet so simple. God is still good even when life isn’t. God never changes. He is consistent. His love endures everything and lasts forever.

God’s goodness, grace and mercy continually flow, surrounding us with his presence in the midst of turmoil. Life may not always be good. But God is good. Always and forever.

We must hold firm to our belief that we will see the goodness of the Lord. God’s goodness will be evident when we step through heaven’s gates and enter his presence.

God is Worthy

We’ve come to dismiss the worth of God in our lives. We ignore him. We pretend he doesn’t exist. We want nothing to do with him. So maybe he’ll just go away and leave us alone.

After all, he doesn’t answer when we pray. We say we don’t see the good he does. We don’t believe he hears our prayers. We wonder if he sees our suffering. Does he even exist? So we block him from our lives. We turn to other things hoping they bring fulfillment. They become our god. 

We often disrespect God by using his name in vain. We use his name as a cuss word instead of a word of reverence. We dishonor God by disobeying him.

We don’t read the Bible, so we don’t really know God. We ignore his warnings. We refuse to listen to the still small voice of reason.  Our conscience dies a slow death. We become numb to evil. We’ve lost sight of eternity.

 All for the sake of pleasure. For the fulfillment of our twisted desires. Nothing is off limits. Because in our minds, God doesn’t matter. We wonder if he even exists. We give ourselves over to moral filth.  Because we’ll be the boss our of own lives. No one will control me. We say.

We’ve gotten to the point that we are lawless. Everything is acceptable. So we live for the moment. With no thought of eternity. Because what if eternity doesn’t exist? What if this life is all we have?

Maybe we believe God exists. But he’s not my type. Oh. I’m a good person. We tell ourselves. And that’s good enough.  But is it really?

For those of us who say we’re believers, we don’t act like it. We don’t spend time in God’s Word. We don’t pray. We don’t set aside time to worship with other believers. We think we’re not worthy of God’s love. We’ve forgotten, or perhaps we’ve never understood, that God is worthy. We are unworthy. But his love and forgiveness and sacrificial gift made us worthy. 

God is worthy. Why? He is our Creator. The Giver of Life. The Prince of Peace. 

Peacemaker, Fear Taker, Soul Soother, Storm Smoother, Light Shiner, Lost Finder, Cloud Lifter, Deliverer, Heart Toucher, Truth Lover, Who other could be Fear Taker, Peacemaker to me, 

Mind Clearer, Sigh Healer, Hand Holder, Consolor, Wound Binder, Tear Dryer, Strength Giver, Provider, Heart Healer, Kind Father, Who other could be, My Savior, Peacemaker to me

Greg Ferguson

You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power. Revelation 4:11


Glory. God deserves our praise. He is our Creator. Our words and actions show whether our lives are centered around God. We are on full display for God and the world to see our opinion of Him. All we have to do is speak. Or act. Or think. God does know our thoughts. Are our motives based in love?

We give glory to God when we have faith in his promises.

God does not need us, and still, in all His self-sufficiency, He wants us. He is independent of His creation, yet His desire to be united to that creation shows His genuine and unmatched love for us. A love that is worthy of all glory forever.

Christina Patterson

Honor. God deserves our adoration. He deserves our respect. When we admire someone, we place them in a position of honor. We are happy to serve them and give them our best. Do we ever stop to think of doing the same for God? He is our creator. He is our strength. He is our redeemer. All we have comes from God. Nothing else deserves top billing in our lives over him. Nothing.

The Bible says every knee shall bow before God. Every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. I try to envision myself in that moment.  What will it be like? This small, imperfect person bowing to the Creator of Life and King Eternal. Who am I to think I’m worthy to be in his presence? But I will stand there receiving my eternal destiny. How humbling. I’m brought to tears just thinking of being in God’s presence. And then he reviews everything I’ve ever done and said. My lifetime performance review where nothing is hidden.  But mercy and love have been offered. How well have I honored my Lord? How will I be judged?

Power. God deserves our trust. He receives power when his creation honors him. We give power to the person or thing where we focus our time and energy. Imagine the power He could use if only we placed our full trust in him. If we honored him the way we were meant to. Just imagine what God would do if our hearts were turned toward him.

God is inviting us to know him. He wants to have a relationship with each of us. We can choose to accept his invitation. He is worthy of our allegiance. If we don’t recognize God’s true worth, how can we ever truly worship him?

In the Hands of a Rational God

Consider this. God’s entire plan for mankind seems irrational. If you have to ask. I’ve just read about God coming to earth as a newborn babe. He had to grow and mature. Just like us. He had to experience life as his people did. The hurts. And fears. And failures. Temptations. Trials. Bullying. False accusations. He didn’t survive it. Not physically. But that was the master plan.

There was that one time when God asked his people to walk across a moving river. He said the waters would part. So they walked right in. Fully clothed. Faith filled. And the waters parted.

Then there was the time He told an old woman that she would give birth to a long desired child. When she was way past the age of childbearing. He heard her laugh. But somehow. Someway. The old fashioned way. She gave birth to a baby boy.

And many years later, He sent an angel to tell a young virgin that she would have a baby. And that baby would be God as a person. He would die to save all of the human race from their sins. And he asked her fiance to trust him on this one. The baby was His. God’s baby. God was the baby. Unexplainable. Unbelievable. Undeniable. They trusted. The baby was born. He died as a young man to save all mankind from their sins.

Sure. These are all historical facts. But they’re truth. They actually happened. Believe it or not.


“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord . “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9


Consider this. God heals people today. He cures diseases. He provides jobs at just the time they’re needed. He walks through dark valleys with those who call on him. He allows tough times to fall on those who call him Lord. He doesn’t forget them. He gives rest to the weary and strength to the weak.
He doesn’t always straighten the crooked roads. He allows the bends to occur. God doesn’t always remove us from our troubles. He walks with us through them. He gives us the strength and ability to survive the tough times. When we call on Him.

If we didn’t go through suffering,  we wouldn’t know God was able. We wouldn’t know he could provide. We wouldn’t know he could heal. It’s in the irrational, ugly, unbelievable, seemingly impossible times that God shines the brightest.  That’s when God is rational. Sometimes in ways that seem irrational to man.

He does straighten crooked paths. He does forgive sins. Even the worst sins. And how do you rate a sin? Forgiving any sin seems irrational unless you’re the sinner begging to be forgiven.

These ways aren’t irrational to God. They’re proof of his love and endurance. They’re showing God’s grace and mercy. They prove that God is in control and His will and ways are perfect. Whether we believe it or like it, God’s love is rational and purposeful.  God knows what he is doing.

So what may seem irrational to a human is completely logical to God. He has a purpose and a plan for everything. All his moves are ordained. His wisdom defies human logic. His timing is spot on. His ways are unexplainable. He doesn’t need to explain himself.

The Story of Jesus

I love old hymns. I remember singing hymns at church on Sunday mornings. Sunday evenings. Wednesday evenings. Yeah. It was a lot of church. But I learned the stories of Jesus at church. and at home. I’m not sorry about that.

One of the old hymns that has been rolling around in my head for the past week talks about the stories of Jesus.

Tell me the story of Jesus,
Write on my heart every word;
Tell me the story most precious,
Sweetest that ever was heard.
Tell how the angels in chorus,
Sang as they welcomed His birth,
“Glory to God in the highest!
Peace and good tidings to earth.”

Refrain:
Tell me the story of Jesus,
Write on my heart every word;
Tell me the story most precious,
Sweetest that ever was heard.

Fasting alone in the desert,
Tell of the days that are past,
How for our sins He was tempted,
Yet was triumphant at last.
Tell of the years of His labor,
Tell of the sorrow He bore;
He was despised and afflicted,
Homeless, rejected and poor.

Tell of the cross where they nailed Him,
Writhing in anguish and pain;
Tell of the grave where they laid Him,
Tell how He liveth again.
Love in that story so tender,
Clearer than ever I see;
Stay, let me weep while you whisper,
“Love paid the ransom for me.”

Tell how He’s gone back to heaven,
Up to the right hand of God:
How He is there interceding
While on this earth we must trod.
Tell of the sweet Holy Spirit
He has poured out from above;
Tell how He’s coming in glory
For all the saints of His love.

The words of this hymn written by Fanny Crosby ring true. They’re taken straight from Scripture. They tell the story of Jesus. His life. His ministry. His suffering. His death. His resurrection. They are the message of God’s plan for all mankind.


I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Psalms 119:11


I read the Bible. I know the Bible stories. I have heard them since childhood. Oh. How I cherish those stories. But to know them and to live them is two different things. I find that I still struggle with using my words instead of God’s words. I find that I still want my way when it’s the easier way. I find that to truly live God’s way is a tough road to walk. But I know the tough road is much more fulfilling. It’s leading to eternal life even when the walk is hard. Even when mistakes are made. and unkind words are said. The story of Jesus is one of forgiveness and mercy and grace and kindness. His love is never ending. That’s what I need.

Oh. I may never perform a miracle. I may never fast in a desert. I may never be nailed to a cross. I may never be raised from the dead. But I do plan to see Jesus someday. I plan to meet him face to face. I plan to go to heaven when I have finished the race. I plan to walk on streets of gold. I will stand face to face with God to give an account of my life.

So this story of Jesus rings true to me. I trust that every word is true. I believe it for my life. This story never grows old.

Above All Else

God knew David. He knew the good. the bad. the ugly. God called David a man after his own heart. Even when David sinned. And he sinned badly. But what sin is good? But oh. David stole someone else’s wife. She became pregnant. So he had the husband killed. Lust. Adultery. Premeditated murder. And after all that, God still said that David was a man after God’s own heart.

And God was right. He always is. David is the only person who God says is a man after his own heart. For God knew that David would always do what God wanted him to do. Read it for yourself.

God said, ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart. He will do everything I want him to do.’’ Acts 13:22

To be the only one God mentions in that way says something. Oh. God knows everything. So he knows. He knows the intentions of your heart. Even before you do.

God knows if you will do everything he wants you to do.

I have to ask myself. Do I have a heart that runs after God? Do I seek him above all else? Where do my interests lie? Will I do everything God wants me to? Is it even possible? I mean. I want to. But. What are the choices here?

Oh sure. David was human. He messed up multiple times. He did things out of turn. But every time he found himself outside of God’s graces, he admitted it and ran back to God. He was God’s and God was his. No matter what. David served only one God.

Oh. David had his faults. But he had strengths that continued to draw him to God. He was loyal. He loved fiercely. He was humble. He was honest. He had inner strength. He took risks. He served only one God. He spent time alone with God.


How great you are, O Sovereign Lord ! There is no one like you. We have never even heard of another God like you! 2 Samuel 7:22


There is something for us to consider.  When we fail.  When we disobey God.  When our sins are made known to us.  Who do we run to?  What god do we turn to?  Do we automatically run back to the God of the universe?  Or do we run to the god of the credit card?  Or the god of the bottle? Or the god of the trashy novels?  Or whatever that fake god is we run to to soothe our hurting hearts.

And does it work? That running to false gods? Does it take the pain away? Does it solve the problem? Does it lessen the anxiety? Does it pay the debt? Does it heal the relationship? Does it remove the sadness and unloved feelings?

If you’re not running after God’s own heart, then whose heart are you running after?  Your own?  Most likely.  Who else’s heart would you turn to?

Where could I run to?
Where could I go?

Even then. There is a choice to make. We can always choose to run back to God even after we’ve run far from him. Even when we’ve committed those sins that break us. Even when we’ve hurt others and ourselves. God continues to love us and beckon us back. We can choose to have a heart for God. We can choose to run back to him. We can choose to do everything God asks us to do. We can.


A Year in the Life

I remember the day well. It started out the same as most work days. But before that work day was over, my work was over. I saw the email. It was from HR. Can you come to my office? As I walked past my boss’s desk, I noticed she wasn’t there. Red flags sprang up all around me. I knew what I didn’t want to know. My job was over.

I sat in that office hearing the news. I’m sorry. Your job has been eliminated. You don’t have the skill set that we’re looking for. You’ve done nothing wrong. But we no longer want or need you.

Crushing. Heartbreaking. Humiliating. I packed up my belongings and walked out the front door. Never to return. At my age I wondered. Would I ever work again?


If God is for us, who can ever be against us. Romans 8:31


I’ve learned a lot about myself since that day. I’ve learned a lot more about God. I’ve learned that he never leaves me. I’ve learned that he loves me so much. whether I’m employed or not. I’ve learned that he will take care of me. He’ll provide for all of my needs. I already knew all those things about God. But he proved himself time and again.

The thing is. I did get another job. Five months later. And this job has kept me close to God. This is not the job I would have chosen for myself. But it’s the job God has chosen for me. So I go every day. I do the job. Oh. I pray a lot. I need God to help me do this job he’s chosen for me. And he is. He always shows up to work on time. He strengthens me. He equips me to do the work. He calms my fears.

New ones have come after me. They ask the same haunting questions I once asked. Can I do this? Will I be able to learn all the complicated steps? I assure them that yes. Yes they will.

I’ve struggled with this job. I’ve wanted to run the other way and never look back. But I hold on. For one reason only. God has placed me here and God will release me in his time.

Through this past year, I’ve learned to trust God in all things. He has said he would empower me. And he has. He has said I am equipped for the job. And I’ve found that I am. He has shown his love to me in so many ways I cannot comprehend. He has proven so faithful. His promises are true.

I’ve learned that God is for me. Not against me. I’ve learned that he fights for me. He is my stronghold. He never lets go of me. He is the Almighty God in my little corner of the universe.

How Big is God

I remember the song. I remember the singer. He had a big voice. He sang big. He was a big man, yet he sang about how small he was. Compared to God. Compared to God, he was a heartbeat. He was a soul. He was loved.
He was part of God’s plan.

But compared to God, what was he?

The man just won his sixth Super Bowl. He won his first Super Bowl in his second season of play. He’s played in eleven Super Bowl games. And some think he should have already retired. But he keeps playing. He says he isn’t done yet. Some people think he’s a god. Some people are tired of him.

But compared to God, what is he?

A billionaire is the President of the United States. Another billionaire is talking about challenging him. Billionaires. Some people think they’re gods. Sometimes they think they are, too. There are over two thousand billionaires in the world today. They’re richer than ever. They can buy anything. Do anything. Live anywhere. Travel anywhere. Have anything their hearts desire.

But compared to God, what are they?


“To whom will you compare me? Who is my equal?” asks the Holy One. Isaiah 40:25


Though man may strive to go beyond the reach of space
To crawl beyond the distant shim’ring stars
This world’s a room so small within my Master’s house
The open sky’s but a portion of His yard

How big is God? How big and wide His vast domain
To try and tell, these lips can only start
He’s big enough to rule His mighty universe
Yet small enough to live within my heart

As winter’s chill may cause the tiny seed to fall
To lie asleep till waked by summer’s rain
The heart grown cold will warm and throb with life anew
The Master’s touch will bring the glow again

–Stuart Hamblen

Only God has held the ocean in his hands. Only God has measured the heavens with his fingers. Only God knows the number of hairs on my head. No one but God knows the number of times this heart of mine will beat. No one but God knows the weight of the earth.

He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. He doesn’t need advice or instruction. He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds. He counts the stars and calls them all by name.

Some use his name as a swear word. They take his name in vain without a single thought to what they’re saying. Little do they know that God has many names. Sure. God is small enough to live within my heart. But belittling him and who he is by using his name in vain makes the speaker even smaller. Oh. People do it all the time without a second thought.

He feeds the birds. He cares for the flowers. Won’t he do the same for me? He saw me and knew me when I was in my mother’s womb. He searches every heart. He knows every thought. He sees every troubles.

He sends the snow like white wool. He scatters frost upon the ground like ashes. He hurls the hail like stone. He sends his winds, and the ice thaws.

Can he be compared to an idol formed in a mold, overlaid with gold and weighed down with silver chains? The Lord your God is the God of gods and Lord of lords. He is the great God, the mighty and awesome God, who shows no partiality and cannot be bribed. No one can measure his greatness. May his name be praised.

The God I Know

Oh.  Heavenly Father, God and Creator of the Universe.  You knew me before I was born.  You knit me together in my mother’s womb.  You numbered my days before I breathed my first breath.  You alone decided I would be born, and you alone will decide when my days are complete.  I am fearfully and wonderfully made by You.

You alone planned my days.  You know my accomplishments.  You know my failures.  You love me in my most lovely days, and you love me when I’m less than lovely.

You go before me and you follow me.  You surround me with your presence.  You work for me.  You fight for me.  Your heavenly armies follow me.  I can never escape from your Spirit.  Your hand guides me.  Your strength supports me.  You equip me for your work.  I am never far from your thoughts.

You search me.  You know my thoughts.  You read my mind.  You hear my words.  You test me.  You know my anxious thoughts.  Yet you still love me.  You won’t turn away when I call.

You are the first and the last.  The alpha and the omega.  The beginning and the end.  You never had a beginning and you’ll never end.  You are always.  You are eternal.  You are everlasting.

Oh.  You are three in one.  God, you are the Father.  Jesus Christ, you are the Son.  Holy Spirit, you are my Guide.  All of you complete the never-ending circle of the one and only God.  There are no limits to what you can do.  You are powerful.  You are able to do anything and everything.   At any time.

You are the God of peace.  You are kind.  Compassionate.  Loving.  Generous.  You meet all my needs and provide me with blessings.  Your grace is free and undeserved.  Your mercies are new every day.


I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.  Revelation 22:13


Your ways are beyond understanding. You are a good good Father. You know best.  You love unconditionally.  You love the lovely and the unlovely.  You are merciful and yet you’re just. You will repay and you will punish.  But oh.  Your blessings are unfathomable. Your love is endless.  Your grace is unearned.

You love everyone. Red and yellow, black and white. They are precious in your sight.  The lame. The blind. The sick.  The homeless.  The rich.  The poor.  The thief.  The artist.  The CEO.  The hourly worker.  You love those who are hurting. You love those who have hurt others.  You love the honest.  You love the liar.  You do not discriminate.

You allow Satan to tempt and trick your people.  You allow wars and disease and famine.  You allow untimely deaths and accidents.  Job loss.  Destruction.  Horrible crimes.  You could stop these, yet you don’t.  You allow nature to take its course.  You allow the sun to rise and set every single day.  You allow mankind to choose you or not to choose you.  You’ve given us a free will to live our lives as we see fit.  With you.  or without you.  And through it all, you love us.  No matter what we choose.

You offer forgiveness.  No questions asked.  You stand waiting for us to choose you over everything else we hold dear.  You offer eternal life.  You offer a heavenly reward.  You gave your Son.  For everyone.

Your work is never left undone. You finish everything you start.  You work thoroughly and perfectly.  You are the Master Creator, creating works of art for your pleasure and purpose.  You are the Master Carpenter, building an eternal home for those who follow your ways.

Through everything, you never change. The good. The bad. The ugly. You’re constant. You speak only the truth. You don’t lie. You keep your promises. In your own time.  Because for you a day is a thousand years and a thousand years is a day.  Time is nothing to you. Yet you created time.  In those 7 days, you created day and night.  Dark and light. Sun and moon.  Sea and land.  Food and flower.  Creature and man.

You are the final Judge.  You will have the last say about how I’ve lived my life.  You alone will decide if I am worthy to enter heaven’s gates.  Oh.  I’m unworthy.  But you alone, God, will determine my eternity.

You correct me when I’m wrong.  You counsel me when I need guidance.  You challenge me to trust you when I’m out of my comfort zone.  You carry me through the most difficult of times.

God, you are fair.  You judge and punish as you see fit.   You are impartial.  You decide who will rise and who will fall.  You allow rain to fall on the just and on the unjust.  You have enemies, but you fight cleanly and fairly.

God, you never change.  You’re always right.  You have the final say in all matters.  No one is better than you.  You alone determine the outcome of all events.  You alone are God.  You are the only God.  The one and only God.  All knees will bow to you at some unknown time.  All lips will confess you as Lord at the appointed time.

Bless your holy name.  Amen.