Do Not Lose Heart

by Christina Rose

Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So, we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.  2 Corinthians 4:16-18 NIV

While walking through the San Francisco financial district on my way to work, I would often glance upwards to see American flags on top of each building with the red, white and blue waving boldly in the sky. The flag holds great significance for many Americans, including myself. My ancestor, Captain William Blackler, was the owner and commander of the boat that carried General George Washington across the Delaware River on Christmas Eve in 1776. 

This dangerous undertaking to cross a raging river full of churning ice floes in the dead of night, in a winter storm with bitter cold and high winds, made Washington to deliberate whether they should cross at all. While he greatly feared that lives would be lost, turning back meant defeat and death. Washington was a man of great faith who was known to resort to prayer before every battle, so after such deliberation he pressed onward with the decision to cross. The crossing was successful and considered to be a pivotal event in winning the Revolutionary War.

Year ago, my dad would take us kids to Old Burial Hill in Marblehead, Massachusetts where we would sit on the Blackler family plot that overlooked Marblehead harbor. As he told us the story of the crossing, I could picture my uncle, Captain Blackler, fighting ice floes and sleet in the dark winter night, doing his best to keep the boat steady among the tossing waves. I could picture the many other boats with freezing men in rags, starved and far from their families, who were willing to risk their lives for freedom. They marched in place in the icy water of the boats, which were actually rafts, to keep their feet from freezing.

They all had one goal: to reach the other side with General Washington, who would lead them to freedom. That night required great sacrifice, faith, and determination. Their efforts were rewarded. Today we enjoy freedom at the price they paid.

 “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body” (2 Corinthians 4:8-10 NIV).

When Moses led the Israelites to freedom, God parted the Red Sea to lead them safely to freedom. Just as the crossing of the Delaware River was challenging, so was that crossing. The Israelites had to walk with giant walls of sea on either side of them, filled with sea creatures, wondering if the walls would fall down on them. Yet they did not lose heart. They pressed on in faith and were delivered to the promised land.

Life is not meant to be easy. Occasionally we will be required to cross a stormy sea. But just as we are inspired to take heart by stories of other crossings, we can inspire our brothers and sisters to not lose heart and to have faith to press onward for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14 KJV


This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Christina Rose is an author, trainer and speaker certified by the John Maxwell Team of Leadership.  She is a DAR (Daughter of the American Revolution) whose ancestors fought in the Revolutionary War. She is a world traveler, surfer, foodie, cappuccino loving chocoholic and a devoted mom to kids and dogs and auntie to many nieces and nephews who live around the world.

Christina’s book, My Appeal to Heaven, is her story. With her young family on the verge of falling apart, Christina finds herself in a desperate situation with no resources other than herself.  After appealing to heaven, the Lord takes her on a journey of awakening and miraculous empowerment. That power is available to us all, especially those who need hope and freedom.

Join the conversation: What stormy waters have you crossed recently?

Do You Feel Pressed In on All Sides?

by Nancy Kay Grace

Have you ever felt pressed in from all sides, with nowhere is go in a difficult situation?

Recently my husband Rick and I drove to a short getaway from the pressures of life. Our destination was several hundred miles away, so I settled in for the long drive.

Dormant brown farm ground stretched as far as I could see. Further south in warmer weather, blossoming dogwoods and blooming redbuds dotted the countryside. The drive was uneventful until road construction funneled us into a one-lane section of highway. Bright red taillights of the vehicles in front of us indicated a delay ahead. Sure enough, we were stopped on the one lane Interstate, on a bridge over a river. There was no way to turn around. We were pinned in by traffic, with a fuel tanker truck ahead of us. All we could do was turn the car off and look out the window. We waited. No one moved.

That is, until the backup lights of the semi truck in front of us indicated movement toward us.

The gap closed between our car and the truck, inch by inch. As the truck got closer, my eyes grew big and palms got sweaty. My husband jammed our car in reverse, but could only back up a few feet. Panic set in. I prayed. Life was at a standstill.

Would we be crushed between the truck and the vehicle behind us? What were we to do? We were over water on a single lane road with no place to go!

Have you ever been in a situation where there seemed to be no way out? God’s Word gives us hope when we’re pressed in on all sides.

2 Corinthians 4:8-10 NIV reads, “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.”

The Apostle Paul wrote those words referring to the trials he and others suffered, while teaching us a valuable faith lesson: trials will happen, but with Jesus, we can press on.

At different times I’ve felt hard pressed, perplexed, persecuted or struck down. When my husband lost his job, I wondered how we could provide for our young family. Within a few weeks, God opened a door for another ministry position. When I got a cancer diagnosis, I cried out to God. God gave me deep peace and assurance in the uncertainty.

While I may feel pressure and wonder how I’ll go forward out of the mess, the Lord has provided strength to not be crushed or in permanent despair. This passage reminds me to look to the living hope of Jesus beyond the trial. God has provided for our needs when life seemed out of control.

Thankfully, the tanker truck stopped when it touched our car’s bumper. Whew! Our panic eased. We waited for an hour before traffic moved. Although we made it to our destination later than hoped, we were safe.

As I reflect on the weekend getaway, I remember the laughter and good times more than the stress of being pinned in on a bridge.

When we’re in a tight situation, it seems like it will last forever. We get anxious while we wait for the outcome. Eventually, in God’s time and with a different perspective, God provides a way. Life once again moves forward.

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Nancy Kay Grace is thankful for the gift of time. She is a speaker and award-winning author of The Grace Impact, a devotional about the touch of God’s grace in our lives.  

Visit https://www.nancykaygrace.com to sign up for her monthly Grace Notes devotional newsletter. You can also connect with Nancy on Facebook or Instagram.

Join the conversation: Are you in a tight situation?