None of us are immune to the burdens and pains of this life. Though we have a God who loves us, we all experience loss, hardship, and disappointment. And in the midst of it all, it might feel as though we’re all alone, with no one to understand us, no one to guide us, no one to let us know they’ve been there too.
Sometimes, in those seasons of life that ache beyond words, we just want to hear that it’s okay to not feel okay. We want to know we’re not alone in this chasm of loneliness we stand in. We want to be held by arms that bear the scars of similar wounds.
In our most vulnerable moments, we need more than pithy statements that attempt to assure us that all will be well. Instead, we need one another’s stories. Stories create a space for us to be — to be known, to be validated in our feelings and experiences, and to give us words to express what we might not have been able to say before. We can find ourselves and God again in one another’s stories, opening the door to let hope come through once more.
We won’t be able to understand why hard things happen in this world or in our lives, and that is okay. We can sit in the tension of that reality together. And not only do our suffering and pain connect us together in our humanity, but they also connect us to Christ, who bore it all on the cross. He held the tension between heaven’s holiness and the world’s brokenness, and though we all long for resurrection, we have a God who stayed in the tomb—in darkness, in death, in time suspended — before He rose again on the third day.
And these are His words to us:
In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
John 16:33 (NIV)
From the introduction of Take Heart: 100 Devotions to Seeing God When Life’s Not Okay by the (in)courage community
We hope each story in this book is an offering of hope to know that we’re in this together.
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
What a great devotional for the times in which we are living…thank you! (in)courage devotional books make awesome Christmas gifts!!
Becky Keife says
We think so too, Bev! 🙂 Thanks for sharing in our excitement! We’re so excited you’re part of this project, too. 🙂
Wemi Omotosho says
A timely devotional for me. I need courage today. I especially like this – “He held the tension between heaven’s holiness and the world’s brokenness”. He did and so, I have overcome.
Becky Keife says
I feel you, Wemi. I need that kind of courage too.
Beth Williams says
We should all share our stories. Ways we got through, what helped & what didn’t. Tell others what you learned in the process. That way they won’t feel so alone in their struggles & feelings. It can be hard going through a trial alone. You want others to come along side you just like Job had. Someone to sit with you, listen & pray for you. We were made for community-even if it looks like a few people in your circle. You want to know that people care for you. Go ahead & tell your stories. We are ready to listen & pray for you.
Becky Keife says
Beautiful words, Beth. Thank you.
Ify Etuokwu says
“Courage often looks like a tiny step forward instead of a leap.” Aliza Latta
When you connect with words that have seemingly been written with you in mind, you know you’re on to something rare and special. I’m so moved by this devotional! It has some of the most thoughtfully written devotions I’ve ever read. The stories brim with hope and speak to the beauty of being vulnerable in what we feel, yet knowing we can confidently call on the Father in our disquieting moments. How precious!
Terrie Rust says
Is this available in KJV?
Tabitha Carpenter says
This devotion has something for everyone. From giving hope to the one walking in the valley to encouragement to the ones on the mountain top. For me Day 12 put feelings into words that I have never been able to explain for myself before. Becky Keife thank you so much for these words.
C Pitts says
This devotional guide is an excellent read. It has Devotions for every area of your life. Highly recommend.
Lesley Boyer says
Thank you for creating this devotional. I am compiling a list of of books to place in my home library that will, I hope, offer quiet, practical encouragement at the right time and in the right way to those who need it. Thank you again for cooperating with God in creating this devotional.