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.

Out of the Heart

She was looking forward to spending time with her mom.  But then again, she wasn’t.  She said her mom gets mean when she is anxious or afraid.  Her mom cloaks the mean words with sarcasm and humor.  She pretends she’s joking.  As if she doesn’t mean the words she’s saying.  But she does.

And my coworker has been on the receiving end of her mother’s harmful words more times than she cares to remember.  She wants to avoid another one of those situations.  She loves her mom, but she doesn’t appreciate being the target of overly harsh words.

She said she had talked to her mom about it.  My coworker, the unbeliever, the one who never reads a Bible, said that her mom’s problem stemmed from her heart. Because, she said, you say what is in your heart.  And it’s true.  She is so right. 

But, I wonder, how did she know that to be true?  How did she learn it if she hasn’t read the Bible?  I don’t know. 


For whatever is in your heart determines what you say. Matthew 12:34


Then I think about my words.  My thoughts.  What is in my heart that I have tried to hide?  Oh.  It’s become a little clearer to me this week. I’ve been reading John Bevere’s book, “Honor Rewards”.  Every chapter has convicted me.  Not only the words that come out of my mouth need to honor others, but my thoughts do, as well.  Oh.  I know that.  But sometimes.  Sometimes, I can’t get past my thoughts turning vindictive. I realize those thoughts, or even words, are more harmful to me. They’re harming my soul’s eternity.

I know that God knows my every thought.  He knows my heart.  He knows if I really mean those mean words I say.  He knows the unkind thoughts I think.  I realize I have much work to do to clean up my heart.

I read that when we honor others, God will reward us.  I found that to be true this week.  One day at lunch, I read one of the chapters in the book.  I felt convicted about my thoughts of the people in authority over me.  I confessed my sin.  As I walked back into work, my step had a little spring in it.  I felt that my load had been lightened.  I had been unaware of how much my thoughts about others was affecting my mood.

I had been frustrated about a work situation, and I would have these imaginary conversations about it. Doesn’t everyone?  Sometimes in these imaginings, I would confront the person.  Other times, I would talk about them to others.  In my conviction, I realized that I should change my attitude and let things work out by themselves. I’m trusting God to let me know when or if the time is right for a face-to-face conversation.

Later that afternoon, I was sitting at my desk when my manager approached me.  He asked me to do the thing I had been stewing about.  The thing I had been hoping he would ask me to do. He asked. Wow.  What a little repentance will do for a person.  It will open your heart and allow God to give the blessings he has been withholding. 

I’ve learned. Obedience is always the key to heavenly rewards. My reward that day was nothing to write home about. But it sure did open my eyes to what I could be missing out on if I am not faithfully guarding my thoughts and words. God will reward an obedient heart.