Romans: Day 10

A Hope That Will Not Disappoint


Today's Text: Romans 5:1-11, Galatians 4:6-7, Ephesians 2:18-22

Scripture Reading: Romans 5:1-11, Galatians 4:6-7, Ephesians 2:18-22

Seven years ago I found myself so emotionally, physically, and spiritually debilitated that just getting out of bed in the morning was difficult. I’d never struggled with acute depression before, but after soldiering through the deaths of several of my loved ones and a cancer scare of my own, my get-up-and-go was totally gone. All I wanted was to wave a white flag at life and crawl under the covers, venturing out just long enough to grab another pint of ice cream.

If someone had given me some perky acrostic or suggested I listen to a sermon entitled, “Ten Things Victorious Christians Do to Kick Disappointment and Despair to the Curb,” I’d have kicked them in the shins. Fortunately, Lynn, the Christian counselor I’ve gone to for years, doesn’t prescribe the dangerous meds of “minimizing grief” or “multiplying guilt.” Instead, she was silent as I sobbed, empathetic as I lamented.

Lynn gave me this advice: “Cling to Jesus and do the next right thing.”

She told me to stop trying to tackle the troubles of an entire day, much less a week, month, or year. I was simply to move forward one step at a time. Some days I’d wake to the alarm clock only to be hit with a shock of emotion as I remembered my circumstances. And other days, just whispering the name of our Savior gave me enough grit to pull back the covers and get out of bed.

Day by day, inch by laborious inch, Jesus led me by the hand through that dark valley of life— one step at a time.

I know far too many people who have lost their joy and all but lost their faith in Jesus because endurance was an overlooked muscle group in their Christian vocabulary. And so they’d stop attending Bible study, then church, fading away from their faith community in the midst of their malaise. Some have been wounded by that very same community of believers. Others have simply lost the energy and will to put on a happy face, to pretend their get-up-and-go hasn’t left them too.

Surely our Creator-Redeemer weeps over the gaping holes in the fabric of His covenant family. We weren’t created to be wincing, jaded isolationists. We were created in God’s image, in the image of the triune God who exists in perfect relational harmony with Himself as Father, Son, and Spirit (Genesis 1:26). We’re hardwired for relationship, for communing with others of the faith.

When life leaves us disappointed, disillusioned, and despairing, we need to resist the urge to withdraw from the body of Christ. Instead, we need to move toward other passionate—albeit flawed—Christ-followers to walk with us toward healing. We need to be honest with them, with God, and with ourselves about the true state of our hearts. We need them circling around us, crying out, “Abba Father!” on our behalf, reminding us of the Truth: we are no longer slaves, but daughters of the one true God (Galatians 4:6-7).

Together, we can persevere toward the living hope of the Lord Jesus Christ to whom we’ve been called.

Only God can love us unconditionally. Hoping in Him will never disappoint us the way the world does time and time again. Because “God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit” we can learn to rejoice and hope again, even in our pain (Romans 5:3,5). But it’s only in clinging to Him that we will find the strength to move forward in faith, one step at a time.


Lisa Harper is a master storyteller with a masters of Theological Studies from Covenant Seminary. She’s lauded as an engaging, hilarious communicator as well as an authentic and substantive Bible teacher. She’s been in vocational ministry for 30 years and has written 15 books (her latest being, The Sacrament of Happy: What a Smiling God Brings to a Wounded World) and Bible study curriculums but says her greatest accomplishment by far is that of becoming Missy’s (her adopted daughter from Haiti) mama! They live on a hilly farmette south of Nashville, Tennessee, where they enjoy eating copious amounts of chips, queso, and guacamole.

  • Deborah LopezPomales

    Holy One has been the only hope, who have carry me through the grief of loosing many loved ones especially the miscarriages of two of my babies. Thank you Eternal Father for Jesus. Thank you for the hope of eternal life in Christ. Thank you for a promise future of “No More Tears” Rev. 21:4 Thank you for loving me and understanding me through my grief.

  • Maureen Wilson

    Love this! Thank you for sharing Lisa❤️

  • Jo Miller

    This, as it always is with God’s word, is just what I needed today. I’ve been making excuses for not getting more involved with my church community. My husband is military and it’s just so easy to make excuses for not reaching out. But reading today’s passage, and reading everyone’s post of grief, hurt and encouragement and ultimately hope in our Lord and Savior, reminded me why God doesn’t want us to do this life alone. Thank you for all of your posts, thank you for this devotional that I read at the perfect moment, and most of all, i am thankful for our God and His amazing grace that we will never deserve , but He freely and lovingly gives.

  • Anna Ziel

    “We rejoice in our sufferings” — understanding this paradox can change your life

  • amen to this!

  • Michelle Stowe

    I needed to read this this morning. It’s like it was meant for me!

  • Needed this today. Reading through others struggles makes mine seem so small, but my hope has been dwindling and reading this made me remember how I felt at the beginning of the season I am in. I was recently laid off from my job, my husband took and new one in a different state and currently we are living with my parents while he trains for his new position, having to buy 2 cars (as we lived in Chicago and did not need one) and I have no job to help support the financial struggles we are facing.
    When I was first laid off I had such peace about it, knowing we may be moving and this was God telling me we were. But now 3 months later my hope has been fading as I apply for jobs and hear nothing back. I am reconfirming my hope and faith in God this morning. I know he has me and my family and whatever path he is leading me down is going to be more than I can imagine.

    • Steph J

      What you said at the end? That is so true. Wherever God leads us is always more than we can imagine. Keep your faith friend. Keep digging into His word and seeking Him in prayer every day, every hour, every breath if needed.

      It is so hard for our sinful selves to muck through this all, but in the end it is so worth it because we can look back and see how the Lord grew us and strengthened us. We can see His hand in it. Reread Romans 5:3-5. It is hard to persevere through trials but at the end, oh the joy! God’s love is poured into us through the Spirit.

    • Michal Lynn

      I’m way behind but I read this today, Caroline, and just want you to know I’m praying for you! Change is hard and I totally know that feeling of total peace that creeps into anxiety and doubt about 3 mths later. It really hit me when Lisa said, “Endurance is an overlooked muscle group in the Christian vocabulary.” Praying for an extra surge of energy and endurance for you this week!

    • Rick Clausen

      Miss Caroline, the bible says stir up the faith that is in you. And I say, you can always trust in the Lord. Believe in his promises. Get a book that references his promises, read then every day. You have every reason to believe Him, he loves you dearly. As a father his child. You are his, he won’t leave you or forsake you. God bless. Ask him for his blessings and mercy.

  • Weeping as I read today’s devotional. Thank you for the reminder that it doesn’t just end with the affliction. The next step is endurance. By his strength and love we will endure!

  • Launi Rogers

    This last winter was the darkest feeling I have ever had. Months of rain, care-giving, just dark. And God through His Holy Spirit reminded me to cling to Jesus. What a difference! One step at a time I was able to climb out of the dark pit. And then God brought actual sunshine to all of us! No more rain for awhile! Praise Him.

  • There are days when God decides I need to be slapped in the face with his truth. I am so glad that I read this one. Even though I’m really behind. I have trouble with anxiety and depression and I honestly feel like I can’t get out of bed in the morning because what’s the point. I believe God is the only one who can heal my brokenness and I’m trying to let go and let him. I needed this devo today, I love how God puts you where you should be EXACTLY when you need to be there.

  • I think there is a big message in there for people who are not in a valley right now.
    Be the one to help a ‘valley-person’. Help them to not loose hope and to keep coming to church. Be happy with the happy, and sad with the sad.. be a community

    • Lori Wat

      So true! Sitting with someone in their grief is so valuable.

    • Steph J

      So true! We just had a sermon on this last Sunday from Gal. 6:1-5. Gal. 6:2 says it so well: “Bear one anothers burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.” The “one anothers” Paul refers to here is specifically other believers in Christ. Our brothers and sisters. Bearing with each other through trials and temptations and pulling each other up and encouraging and rebuking each other in love is a lovely picture of the grace Jesus lavished on us being worked on in our lives and the lives of others. Bearing one anothers burdens is the supreme imitation of Jesus, the ultimate burden-bearer.

      The verses today in Eph. speak about this too. We are all one body. If one part of us suffers, the rest suffer too. Such good stuff!

  • Rochelle Walker

    This is a great message. Thank you. It pretty much sums up 2016, and part of 2017, for me. My darkest hours…truly…but I grew so close to Jesus. I felt often like David, crying out, grappling with God, but He took it and loved me and brought me back to the light. And my church family, my sisters in Christ – where would I be without them? I’ll be sharing this devo.

  • Michele

    Thank you, I needed to hear this today.

  • Heather McDermott

    Tragedy, loss, despair…. these have been everyday words in my life over the last decade, I’ve held on tightly to Jesus, was blessed to have godly friends that walked alongside us, but this…. these words today…. my soul was in such need of them! There are still dark days…. moments when I’m not sure I can hold it all together, but these words will forever change my perspective in those moments… “Cling to Jesus and do the next right thing!” The NEXT right thing, not for tomorrow, or next week or worries about the future… no… the next right thing, which might be as simple as getting up and reading a few verses on your Bible today, or getting up and taking a shower, get outside today and feel the sunshine on your face, hold your child in your arms or sit and watch them sleep…. just the next right thing!
    Thank you so very much for these words today, as I needed the gentle reminder that I’m never alone and that God promises to care for widows and orphans! So thankful for Grace and for a God that SEES me!

  • And here we have, after being humbled by our learning about our guilt before God and the role of Faith, an explosion of Light, Hope and Joy. Thank you, God for this!
    To all my sisters here, who share their suffering, pain and faith I send my love and a hug, and I thank you for sharing, you help me grow. God bless you!

  • I needed this. I have recently just started to come out of the worst time in my life. The parts where she talks about not having the strength to get out of bed? That’s about me. I never knew it was humanly possible to feel so much grief, sadness, despair, and darkness. I truly did not know if I could make it out. Thankfully, I found this few- the few who walked alongside me (somedays carried me) through the darkness and towards healing. It wasn’t until I let people see me fall apart that they were able to help me work towards wholeness. I’m thankful to read this now knowing that not everyday is a horrible thing, but it is so helpful to have this in my mind on the bad days that still happen. Without Jesus I wouldn’t be able to breathe. He has pulled me out of my despair <3

  • Reading today’s sharing from all you wonderful people, I see and feel great pain and challenge. My heart goes out to you all who have struggled with loss and depression. I can’t know your pain right now, but I pray for our Lord to continue lifting you up and surrounding you with His love and consolation. I am at most times able to hand over my concerns and struggles to Jesus. There have been some tough times, but handing things over to God has helped me to keep most things in perspective. I put one foot in front of the other and wait on God to show me a turn in my path. Oh! I get impatient sometimes, and that seems to be my big challenge, but I’m slowly getting better at that old verse, ‘be still and know that I am God …”

  • Tatiana Phillips

    I really needed to read this,this morning. I’ve been suffering through alot lately and really needed the reminder that I’m not in control. I want to be more like Abraham, I’m the piece of raw kale that needs the Lord’s loving seasoning. Thank you SET community, tf hanm you Paul and thank you Lord!!

  • Lauren Williams

    Today’s message spoke right to me because I have been in that same spot. Depression is such a raw, personal battle that leaves you changed. I am so glad I had my faith to get me through, along with such a great husband, family and friends. My mom actually just left a mood disposer program at Mayo Hospital so any testimonies on mental illness just really hit close to home! My mom shared with me that she felt like she was losing her faith and she just wanted to give up! :( thankfully she is doing much better and I hope she continues on that path toward a healthy mind!

  • Candice

    I lost my best friend on April 26th, she had battled cancer for two and a half years. I was with her when Jesus came to carry her home. As the sun rose on that Wednesday morning, Jesus came, it was so beautiful and sad at the same time. We shared so many laughs, tears, and special moments. I can’t find joy in anything, I’m basically just going through the pain of losing her. I know where she is and I talk to her everyday but the hurt of missing her is unbearable.

    • SuzD

      Leaves a big hole in your heart. I am so glad you were there as she went home but I am so sorry for your earthly loss.

    • She Reads Truth

      So sorry for your loss, Candice. Grateful to have you in this community with us.

      – Stormye

      • Candice

        Thank you Stormye, doing this study is helping me get through, I just can’t see the end of my grief yet

  • Though my entire life has been one of intense pain starting with being molested when I was 5, living through additional rape, growing up in an alcoholic and violent household, and then marrying an alcoholic only to have him try to kill me and then die from his disease…it has been the last 7 years of my life that have been the most difficult. I have always had God in my life, but it has only been the past 7 years where I have decided to release my control on my life and let Him take over. I have grown so much by allowing Him the correct place in my life…FIRST! He has been truly all that I have ever needed. I know God was with me every time I cried out to Him, and I know he was carrying me every time I was on the verge of taking my own life. He is all I need and the one who will carry me through everything I face. Darkness may come, but it will NOT overcome me when I have God walking with me and leading me with His light.

    • Emily B.

      Wow. Your vulnerability in sharing your story is incredible. Thank you for the reminder that darkness won’t win since we are children of the King.

    • CJ

      Sheryn – thank you for bravely sharing your testimony. I am so glad you have Jesus! <3

    • She Reads Truth

      What a powerful testimony, Sheryn. Thank you so much for your vulnerability in sharing this. So grateful for you.

      – Stormye

  • Hey girls. Almost 1 month ago, I lost my Grandmother after a 3 month battle that included a stroke and a diagnosis of cancer. It has been a long few weeks without her & i’ve been really struggling with it. It was very fitting that today’s devotion had to do with this topic. I could really use some prayer during this tough time. thank you.

    • Sheryn

      Hi Faith! I am sorry for your loss. It is so difficult to lose people we love – especially those who have been with us for so many years! I will definitely keep you in my prayers for continued strength and comfort!!

    • She Reads Truth

      Praying for you, Faith. Asking the Lord to bring you peace and comfort in this time of sadness and loss. So grateful for you.

      – Stormye

  • Kristin, I am praying for you!

  • Kristin

    Hello girls! Last Friday I had asked for prayer as I had just discovered that I had lost my third baby at a routine ultrasound. While this week as been difficult, I have experienced such hope and peace. Today’s reading couldn’t have come at a more poignant time for me. While we can’t choose our circumstances much of the time, we can choose our response and with God ALL things are possible. So whether you find yourself in a mountain top season- or maybe a valley like me, I hope we can all rejoice in the hope of God. <3

    • Abigail

      So sorry for your loss! Thank you for opening up and sharing that part of your life and how God is loving and offers peace through hope in Him and his sovereignty.
      Take care, Kristin!

    • Tina

      So very sorry for your loss Kristin… sending you a love wrapped hug and prayers…xxx

    • Anne

      I’m so sorry, Kristen. I, too, have experienced miscarriage. But thank you for sharing your testimony of faith and hope. Even in your pain, God is using you to encourage and minister to others. I am also going through a season of intense grief, and your words are helpful

    • Christina Cho

      Encouraged that you’re clinging onto Christ even during such a difficult time. I’m so sorry for your loss and will be praying that the warmth of His hands and those around you will be ever more salient in the following days to come. <3

    • She Reads Truth

      Thank you for the update, Kristin. Continuing to pray for you through this. Grateful for you!

      – Stormye

  • Because of my struggle years ago with depression and the victory over it through Jesus, I have recently sent a book recording my journey to the publisher. Depression continues to grow in or society, perhaps because no one is willing to talk about it. Amen. Hope does not disappoint.

  • Caroline

    Amen! I love Romans 5:5 hope in HIM will not disappoint. People will disappoint us, but when we trust God, he never will

  • What wise and caring words … turn to the church and our fellow believers for support and confirmation and prayer. Join in the cries , ” Abba! Father! “. Keep the faith and hope and take it one step, one hug, one prayer, one day at a time, for each day brings us one day closer to meeting our Savior! This reading today brings such hope and such optimism and such encouragement. To think that measly little old me can stand in the company of saints and apostles, can be part of that family of God, can rest easy in the arms of the Lord. No sickness, strife, or suffering will conquer that love and acceptance that I have won by my faith in my Jesus. Sigh … it’s enough to bust my heart in happiness.

  • Cling to Jesus and do the next thing right! What a word I needed to hear today. I mean, it just takes so much of the pressure off and replaces it with hope. So grateful for my SRT community. As a person who has struggled with anxiety and depression, that one sentence is truth is a nutshell. Also grateful that I can feel what’s right in my heart. It’s amazing how a daily relationship with God can fine tune your internal guidance system (nod to Kristen Bell). I am in a time of uncertainty but I can testify that what Paul said in Romans 5:5 about the Holy Spirit laying the love on thick is TRUTH. From this message, to a message I got from a friend last night when I confided in her – dear LORD. SO MUCH LOVE. And it’s only through this daily reflection that I have realized it. That’s why a daily practice is so important, sisters. How many times do we look past our gifts, our blessings, because of distractions? Because we didn’t stop to reflect?

    I struggle with Paul sometimes. I don’t agree with some of the things he says. And when I disagree, I just focus on Jesus and his acts of radical love. But no other author writes about love like Paul does. His words on love always manage to pierce through my darkest places.

    Also, the message version has been doing a fabulous job with this translation for anyone who is interested. I’ve been reading two translations and it has been a wonderful practice.

  • Miss Lisa, this is the best, most helpful devotional I’ve read yet in SRT. I too struggle with depression, and it is not easy. So many people say to just get out of selfishness and start helping others and the depression will go away. That never worked for me. However, when I took a Bible study with a group of my Christian sisters about the Armor of God ( Ephesians 6) , I learned to just pray and do the next thing. This has stuck with me and carried me far. Thank you Lisa for your words of truth on a subject that effects so many women. May God bless you richly.

    • She Reads Truth

      Thank you for sharing this, Dawn. So grateful for you today!

      – Stormye

  • PronetoWander

    “Day by day, inch by laborious inch, Jesus led me by the hand through that dark valley of life— one step at a time.” (I love this!) it doesn’t sound like a fast fix but it sounds hopeful and God is giving you enough to endure.

  • PronetoWander

    I feel like these last two days or so have been a loving hug from God. I’ve been beating myself up over my sins and I feel like God is saying ‘I love you’ in response. This passage today is one I may read everyday this week. I needed this reminder and the reminder of how I see myself is vastly different than the lens of love God sees me through.

  • KatieCar

    Last week I tried to potty train my daughter…and failed miserably. And although it’s kinda a silly thing, it was super discouraging to me. But God has been showing me no matter my failures, my daughter and I are both daughters of the King, no matter how big we mess up. That’s what really matters!!

  • Stacey Cochran

    I love the thought of turning to the church instead of turning away. Right now with my job, I am working long hours and don’t get to attend church except for Sundays, and have almost no time for Bible study. Fortunately, I am able to pretty much do what I want to at work as long as my work gets done. So, I am finding my “church” with this study and reading the comments and just being encouraged by everyone on here. It is making a difficult time a little easier. Also, my home church is very encouraging and just loving on me even when I’m not there. I feel very blessed to have them and to be a part of this community.

    • Dawn

      Stacey, keep fighting the good fight. This is just a season of your life, and it too shall pass. As Lisa said, pray and do the next right thing. Before you know it, you will be in the next season of your life.

  • I wonder if Lynn had any idea that her advice would go on to be an encouragement to many other women. “Cling to Jesus and do the right thing.” This is a statement of childlike faith that we as believers are called to have– and that I personally could use a lot more of. I realize through reading this that the hope the Bible speaks of is not of the hoping-for-the-outcome-we-want type, but the keeping-our-eyes-lifted-heavenward type that allows us to endure our present circumstances because we know we will get to spend eternity with our Maker. As my husband and I wait to find out whether he will be medically retired from the Army for a recent diagnosis or whether he will go on to take one of the most dangerous jobs in the service (we literally have no say in what happens to us next), I am reminded not to hope for the outcome that I want, but to hope in Jesus and to take things one moment at a time.

    • Dawn

      Amen Sister. Well said.

    • She Reads Truth

      Praying for you and your family in this time of uncertainty and waiting, Amanda. So grateful for you and that you would let us know how to lift you up to the Father.

      – Stormye

  • Diane Huntsman

    Church hurts happen and they can mess a girl up real good.. we cannot place the expectation upon the church to never let us down.. that’s an impossible expectation.. so when your church family lets you down, communicate.. express the hurt.. don’t just leave and take bitterness and resentment with you.. in addition to the very real issue of church hurts, people hurting us isn’t Gods fault.. God may be misrepresented in particular church people behavior, but we need never leave him due to people mistakes.. listen up sisterhood, we have an enemy set on dividing us.. set on destroying us individually and as the church.. he pits us against one another while we all the while forget the scripture claim “our battle is not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers of darkness” the enemy seeks to get us to despise one another because Jesus said the world would know we were His disciples because of our love for one another.. hmmm despising instead of loving? Dividing instead of unifying? Ripping apart instead of glueing together? Sounds like our adversary is gaining ground and getting victory one attack at a time.. recognize who is at work here my friends.. punch him in the teeth and forgive the human hurter and let love and forgiveness be the predominate leaders of our lives! Because.. this.. WE CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO GIVES US STRENGTH!!!! Xoxo

    • Renee Z.

      I read this several times over! Thank you for reminding me of our true enemy! This can be applied to so many different parts of our lives and different relationships…. Satan wants nothing more than to rip apart at my relationships with my Christian community Christian friends and even my relationship with my husband. Satan is the real enemy and I am reminded that Jesus has victory over him !

    • She Reads Truth

      This is such great wisdom, Diane. Thank you so much for sharing.

      – Stormye

    • Emily B.

      I love the image of punching Satan in the teeth. That’s one I’ll keep with me during my times of spiritual battles. Thank you!

  • Marypat

    My prayers are for all “she’s”……that these words we read & cling onto today keep our hearts open to the One who can protect us; body, mind and spirit. ✝ I pray peace & joy for you and your families ….. We “are better together! “

    • Tina

      Thank you Marypat, for your prayers, praying peace grace and blessings over you too sister… xxxx

  • Cecelia Enns Schulz

    I am going through an intensely difficult season right now. This was such an encouragement. I beat myself up because I’m not where I want to be, not where God has promised and yet he never does. It’s the journey, the one step at a time, the choice in THIS minute and the next to believe Gods truth and not my feelings; my God rejoices to see the little steps and he doesn’t see what I deem as failures but me clothed in his Son, spotless and blameless and the way he created me to be. So I will keep taking the next step knowing that every step brings me closer to my goal – being like my Daddy God. Here. On earth. And he is faithful to bring me exactly there. Because that’s what he died for, so I could be reconciled to him, so that my image would be, once again, his.

    • Michelle

      I am going through a difficult season as well. I’m not where I want to be either. Even though you cannot see the path ahead of you, He is faithful and he will carry you through this season to a season of greater times. We must go through the dark valleys to appreciate all that we have. Praying for you!

    • She Reads Truth

      Praying for you in this difficult time, Cecelia! So glad to have you in this community!

      – Stormye

  • Gina Gomez

    My Daughter married a man who has two children from a previous marriage. They have been married for 9 years and my Daughter and the ex wife still do not get along. Last night they had a altercation that brought my Daughter to a very low place. She feels as though she is the only one in the equation that doesn’t matter. Her husband, the ex wife and the boyfriend all communicate with each other but the ex wife refuses to talk to her. She loves her step children very much and treats them like her own. As she cried on my shoulder last night and kept saying she doesn’t know how long she can continue to do this all I could tell her was cling to Jesus and let Him fight this battle for you. Keep loving on those kids and dealing with the ex wife in a way that would please our Lord. Please pray that The Holy Spirit would continue to speak to her heart and the anger she had last night will fade away. Pray that our Lord will give her strength daily to walk through this and that one day their will be peace and love between my Daughter and Rochelle. I also told her to look back and remember all the miracles and blessings God has poured into her life as she walks in this current trial.

    • Lana

      Praying for your daughter, Rochelle, and everyone involved!

    • She Reads Truth

      Praying for your daughter, Gina. Asking the Lord to bring unity and for her to not feel like she’s on the outside. So grateful for you.

      – Stormye

  • Sarah Woessner

    This was exactly what I needed to hear today. Christian faith is not just about God answering prayers in the short term, but also about the endurance God gives us to keep moving forward through the chronically difficult stuff.

  • This hit me today: In Christ himself I am being built together to become a dwelling in which the One True God lives by His spirit (Ephesians 2:22) – we know all things are possible with Christ, and what this verse is saying is that not only is Jesus the cornerstone for the church, he is the glue that binds in every aspect of our individual lives — building us from the inside out to become the kind of place where the spirit of the Lord can dwell. What a privilege! And as with all construction jobs, reconstructing our lives can be messy, loud, and overall just a LOT (I live next to a job site, so I know this to be true!). I pray the words of John the Baptist over each of us as this process takes place in our hearts: May He (Jesus) increase, and we ourselves decrease! More of you, Jesus, less of us!

  • Melissa

    Looking back on the past 10 months, I can see how gently Jesus has carried me in the midst of my storm (a miscarriage at 18 weeks followed by a sudden onset of anxiety and depression). There were moments where I felt like He was nonexistent – mostly because I was thrashing and screaming inside and could not hear His soft voice lovingly calling me to Him. I am so thankful for His patience and that He knows human pain and suffering. I am naturally very introverted, and I don’t like to talk about my pain. I put on a good face and pray no one approaches me about it. However, my therapist encouraged me to speak to others, so I reached out to my community group at church with shaky hands and was completely overwhelmed with the love of Christ as well as how many people could say “me too” when I discussed my anxiety and depression. I never want to re-live that experience again, but I am so unbelievably thankful for the deeper relationship with Christ as well as a closer connection to my brothers and sisters in Him. The author is so right when she says,, “Together, we can persevere toward the living hope of the Lord Jesus Christ to whom we’ve been called.”

    • Haylie

      Wow..thank you for sharing! I had a miscarriage two months ago. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever endured in my life. I’ve suffered from depression before, but not like this. I began to scare myself with some of my thoughts after this event. I had completely lost the will to live. As the days go by, the more peace I find in Him. I have to remind myself that although my baby won’t be here with me, he or she will never know the pain this world can bring and it’s first sight was the face of God, and that brings me so much joy.

      • Melissa

        I am so very sorry for your loss. It’s a hurt like no other. I lost my brother 3 years prior to this miscarriage and it was horrific and terrible grief, but I have found that miscarriage grief is also horrific and terrible, but it a completely different way. It is a constant ache for someone I never got to know. Please know that it takes time, but healing will come. I never thought I would ever seek out a counselor or therapist, but I decided I had no other choice once the anxiety seemed to be taking over my life. My therapist made me realize that there is no getting around grief… you have to go through it. It’s tough, but you will make it :) I read a few books about grief and loss during that time that were helpful. “Grieving the Child I Never Knew” by Kathe Wunnenberg is a great Christian perspective about miscarriage. I also related so much with C.S. Lewis’ “A Grief Observed”. I love his raw honesty about grief and the process of going through it. I pray that you find healing and rest in our sweet Savior.

    • She Reads Truth

      Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful testimony, Melissa. I know there are several women who can relate to this and who will be blessed by your words of encouragement. So grateful for you.

      – Stormye

  • Endurance. Perseverance. Christ meeting us as we fight through the dark dark places of hurt, pain, grief and sin. I was continually pointed to this as I grieved the loss of my twin boys, my brother and my aunt all in a year and a half. I would read verses like Romans 5: 3-4 but couldn’t grasp how my afflictions would produce endurance or prove character or produce hope BUT God! Each tiny step I took towards Him, He met me right there. In my anger, He met me. In my bitterness, he met me. In my sadness, he met me. In the questioning, He met me. And in every place He was healing, molding, and shaping me. Today, I understand what these verses mean. I understand how enduring affliction can produce character and so on. I’m so thankful He walks with us in every victory and every low and as He walks with us, He is molding us and shaping us to be more like Him.

    • Michelle Baier

      Your words encouraged me. Thank you and sending you blessings.

    • Kylee

      What a powerful testimony Jess! I haven’t been through a fraction of those things, yet I too know well the powerful ways our savior meets us in our every circumstance. He truly became our pain and suffering so he could meet us exactly.where.we.are, no matter where we are, not with lectures, just love. I thank God for being there for you during these trials, and for being with me through mine – what a gift! Thank you for sharing your story!

    • Emily B.

      Such a beautiful testimony. Thank you for sharing your heart with us.

    • She Reads Truth

      Thank you so much for sharing this, Jess. We are so fortunate to have a God who meets us right when and where we need Him.

      – Stormye

  • Katalina

    My depression had lasted about 6 years, maybe more and at one point, I had hit rock bottom. I didn’t really have any Christian friends or people that could “walk me towards healing.” I had my mom who constantly prayed for me… but I was losing hope that my life had any real purpose. I discovered that if I don’t cling to something, I’ll soon be clinging on to a cliff, ready to let go. Although I’ve always been a Christian, I never had that relationship most people talked about. I thought to myself “If I don’t do something now, the ending will turn into a tragedy.” So I began praying. I began talking to God. And slowly but surely, I began to see a dim light that only got brighter with each passing day. It was Hope. He saved my life. He has helped me build endurance through the suffering I thought was going to last forever. Even through it all, He has loved me unconditionally. It’s true what Lisa says, He will never disappoint us the way this world does on a daily basis. He is the One true constant in our lives and I will forever cling to Him ❤️

    • valerie

      this touched me…
      thank you for sharing katalina

    • She Reads Truth

      Thank you for sharing this, Katalina. So grateful for how the Lord has worked in your life and for the encouragement it has allowed you to provide to others!

      – Stormye

  • Kristine L

    10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.
    This verse stood out to me today. Jesus died so it would be possible to put us in God’s presence. But that’s not the end of our story. Now it’s his life, the Spirit, that shows us how to walk out our remaining days. We need both – the death of Jesus that cleanses our sins and the living God that is always by our side.

  • Natalie Eddy

    Encouraged by the words of Paul and the testimony of you Sisters. Endurance–Christ gives us that “can do” in all things. Praying and praising God for all of you. Hope and peace in his goodness and faithfulness!!

  • Romans 5 is one of my go to chapters in the Bible. I have repeated “hope doesn’t disappoint” more times than I can remember in times of trial and clung to that promise. God is good, even when the rains come. And how wonderful that He promises character at the end of our trial! What better reward than to be developed through the fire and come out with new wisdom and faith resembling not so much our sinful selves but more of Jesus. Hope doesn’t disappoint my friends and perseverance produces character! Amen.

    • Emily B.

      So true, but so easy to forget when we’re going through the trial. Thanks for this reminder!

    • She Reads Truth

      Amen, Jessi! Hope doesn’t disappoint – we can all stand to remember that more. Thank you for sharing.

      – Stormye

  • Dawn, praying for you and your family.

  • churchmouse

    That post was for Phillipa. Oops

  • churchmouse

    Thanking God for your faithfulness. And your courage in obeying Christ’s calling. Praying for peace!

  • Such encouragement…. my family has been in the midst of a storm these past few weeks. My daughter gave birth to twins at 25 weeks, and we lost one of them 4 days later. The other one continues to fight, but we realize we are still taking it one day at a time. Our “normal” has forever been changed. Today, I will try to rejoice in this suffering, as hard as that is. May I ask for your prayers for the baby, as well as for my daughter and son-in-law who don’t know Jesus, that they may find him and come to know him in the midst of this storm.

    • SB

      Prayers for you and your family.

      • Diane S

        I’m so sorry for your loss. I pray that God will comfort you, your daughter, your son-in-law & all of your family. I pray for the health of the baby. May God strengthen & guide you always.

    • churchmouse

      Privileged to pray for all of you as you persevere. God, wrap your arms around them and make your mighty presence known!

    • Michele

      I am so sorry for the loss of your grandchild. Praying for your other little one, and your family.

    • JessMC

      Dawn, I will be praying for your daughter, son-in-law, baby and the whole family. I gave birth to my twins at 24 weeks and our boys fought a hard battle but are both with Jesus now. I know the dark days ahead and I pray they will come to know Jesus. I pray they will embrace His strength as they endure the fight ahead of them with this sweet little baby. I pray that you will clearly feel the embrace of our sweet Savior as you pray for the salvation of your children, as you grieve the sweet one that you lost and as you wait and pray for this sweet little life to fight.

    • Kellie

      Prayers for you, Dawn! Prayers for strength for you and your sweet grand baby and that your daughter and son-in-law would come to know Jesus during this season. Hugs to you this morning!!

    • Michelle Baier

      Sending prayers for you and your family.

    • Kylee

      YES DAWN — prayers for your family to find continuous peace in the face of this storm, that your daughter and son in law would see a strength resonating from within you that is supernatural and could only be from the creator of the universe, so strong He is. May these trials bring them to their knees for our most gracious God to scoop them up and hold them, hold them, hold them tight. My heart breaks for you all – I will continue to pray.

    • Michelle

      I am a twin who was born at 25 weeks. Praying for you, your family, and the team of doctors and nursing caring for your strong grand baby. God will heal all things. He has a purpose and a great plan for this baby. Preemies are persistent and determined. They will fight and survive. Praying for y’all! Sending love from Colorado!

    • She Reads Truth

      I am so, so sorry for the loss of your sweet grandchild, Dawn. We will be praying for you and your family in this extremely difficult time of newness and grief. So grateful for you.

      – Stormye

    • GramsieSue

      Praying for all of you through this storm. So heartbreaking. Please keep us posted on everything. We love you, sister.

    • Tina

      Lifting your family up in prayer at this sad and confusing time… praying Hope over each and everyone … xxxx

  • churchmouse

    Disappointed. Disillusioned. Despairing. Yes. Been there, done that. Hated it. Stomped my feet. Clenched my fists. Cried ugly. Clung to the Word as the pages crinkled from my tears. Stayed on my knees till I toppled over in submission. “Thy will be done.” Still, tears. Kept turning the pages. Until… One day I just stood. He had indeed walked me through the valley. Bruised. Battle – weary. Tired. Not entirely sure of the “why.” Yet, at peace. A strange peace after all that chaos. A peace that passed understanding. Still standing today. Still walking. Attesting to His faithfulness. It. Was. Hard. But… He. Is. Good. Cling first to Jesus, sweet sisters. His grip is firm. He will not let you go. His Word is Truth. His promises kept. He keeps on loving. Hold on. Joy comes. Joy comes.

    • Susan

      So. so. good. Thank you for always sharing such wonderful Truth.

    • valerie

      “his grip is firm”……

    • She Reads Truth

      So grateful for this today, Churchmouse. Your words are always refreshing but there is something so sweet about what you’ve written today. So grateful for you.

      – Stormye

    • Lexi

      Your words made me cry. So beautifully written. So so much truth here. Thank you for sharing with us. ❤️

  • My heart is full as I’ve known these verses of endurance to be true. I have found my joy and hope as I press into Jesus, cling to His promises, worship and being real with Him. I love Jesus and have learned the precious reality of suffering that has made Jesus so real and this world fade away. It’s not easy but so precious and worth it.

  • I love how these verses remind us of the security we have in God even in the midst of trials. Sometimes when life is difficult I can get caught up in feeling like God is against me or is punishing me, but his act of sending Jesus shows that’s not the case.
    He loves us, he is for us and there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ.
    Trials and problems will come but God’s love remains, and security in that enables us to look for where God is working through our trials, to rejoice in the perseverance and strength of character he is developing in us through them, and to hold on to the hope we have in him.

  • Recently, with family and friends we celebrated my daughters 40th birthday. It was a perfect day in every way. We were all together remembering, joy fully dancing to the music she loved and would have moved her body to, we laughed, we cried, we hugged, we sung at the top of our voices her favorite songs… we sent up blue balloons, 48, in total, with messages of love and hopes and dreams.. from the heart. a beautiful sight as they left our hands and were taken on mass, floating towards the heavens…
    I could live that day all over again!
    It was perfect.

    I tell you this heartwarming story… why?

    If I had been told 5, 6, 7, 8 years ago that I would be able to do a day like that in the way we did, ‘I might had kicked them in the shins’ too… I would have thought how dare they minimize my sadness… my sorrow… my pain…, I could not imagine celebrating without my daughter… I could not have imagined a day filled with joy and peace, love and hope…

    But God…

    He could…
    And today I can attest to that.

    The journey to get here, this moment, this time, has been a long, hard, oftentimes too painful to believe there is ever going to be a breakthrough…
    But for God…
    He found me on the floor, in my abyss, slowly gathered me up, and one day at a time, in grace, love, mercy, kindness, faithfulness, Hope has brought me thus far… I am far from ‘perfectly there’, but, can I tell you, I have clung to Him, by the skin of my teeth, some days… I read pages and pages in the early days… and held fast to His Word.. He promised.. He promised… He promised, He would never leave me nor forsake me, ( Heb 13:8), that no matter the length of night, day, light comes, in the morning… that He would turn my wailing into dancing, that He would remove my sackcloth and cloth me with joy…(Ps 30:11). I was testing God. I was.

    But God, has continued, through every ‘dark vale’ to keep His word, His promise, that now, and for a long time now, that testing has become Faith in Him…trust in Him…Hope in Him…
    I love you Lord God… Thank you. Thank you for everything. Thank you.

    May you know His Grace Love and Peace in this beautiful day He has made.. sending love and hugs across the pond…xxx
    Lisa, holding your hand today, and sending a hug your way…xxxxxx

    • Karen

      Thank you for sharing Lesley. Nothing easy about your story and loss but my heart rejoices because you have found God able to hold you, and carry you through your loss in ways you couldn’t have known. He is faithful. That’s my story too. I found Jesus over and over in my pain and loss. He real and his love sustains us. Have a blessed day.

      • Tina

        Sending hugs and love from another who is blessed by Jesus’ sustaining love and grace..

    • Fancy

      Tina, if you haven’t already, you need to write books. I’m always so encouraged by your comments. You truly have a gift in writing & I can tell you have a heart of gold! Bless you!!

    • Ann Gemmel

      Tina – what a beautifully written, boldly proclaimed testimony to the power of our God – but one formed in the fire of deep loss and affliction. Thank you sister for sharing your story. May God continue to provide, sustain and surround you each

    • She Reads Truth

      Such a beautiful celebration and picture, Tina. Thank you so much for sharing this.

      – Stormye

  • In 3 hours I find out if my cancer has gone thanks to God and chemo.. I woke up anxious , so decided to open She Reads Truth. I saw today’s ready had hope in the title so I decided t buy the Romans plan and read day 10. Realised I had been clinging to Jesus and doing the next right thing already!!!!! Xx

    • Tinu

      You are healed in the Mighty Name of Jesus . Amen

    • Tina

      Sarah, lifting you and your day up to God in prayer. He is our Hope and for sure He will not disappoint.. when we hold Him close…
      Sending you a hug wrapped in love and prayers…xxx

    • churchmouse

      Praying for good news for you today, Sarah. May His presence be strongly felt

    • Saffron

      You are in my thoughts and prayers Sarah.

    • She Reads Truth

      Praying for you, Sarah! Asking the Lord for good news!

      – Stormye

  • Philippa Brooks

    “Cling to Jesus and do this next right thing.”

    This will be my mantra for the next few weeks and it was the direction and confirmation my heart needed this morning. Tomorrow morning we are flying into a remote village to make our home there amongst an reached group of people in the mountain jungle of the Philippines. We planted a church and discipled a group of people for 10 years on one island and God has called us on to another village, another language group who need to hear His truth.

    Today I am overwhelmed with all the things. The feelings of doubt. The fear of the unknown. My not enough-ness.

    But this I can do; cling to Jesus and do the next right thing.

    Thank you Lord for leading us on one step at a time. You are a good, good Father.

    • Tina

      Go, in peace and love dear Philippa.. Praying Psalm 91 over you and yours as you make this transition in the name of the Lord.. May His grace be sufficient and greater in your weakness…
      Every blessing for this new season…
      Hugs, wrapped in love and prayers and …thank you. Xxx

    • Jessi

      Your story is inspiring! God is faithful to keeps His promise, hope does not disappoint. I pray that over you as you start this new venture. Hope in Jesus being glorified through your obedience to Him!

    • Sonja Cox

      Praying for you!! Love that God has given you such a beautiful task!! Yes! Cling to Jesus!

    • Lana

      Remember to always always follow your gut during your travels. It’s the Holy Spirit talking to you.

    • She Reads Truth

      Praying for you in this, Philippa! Asking the Lord to bless your obedience and to make His name known among these people.

      – Stormye

  • Smiling Sun

    I read this at a really perfect time.

Further Reading...