One Clear Instruction for The Suffering Heart

One Clear Instruction for The Suffering Heart

When I stretch out my arms and turn a full circle, almost everyone brushed by my fingertips is in the middle of staggering hardship right now. I hardly know a single family untouched by life-altering medical diagnoses, and then there are those with immense financial strain, marriages for which we’re holding our breath, and kids breaking their parents’ hearts.

Last week I attended the funeral of a friend, and now another dear friend holds the hand of her mother as she slips away. I wake up in the night and groan in prayer for their painful, intense journey –waiting for the news that this beautiful woman has left us and gone to be with Jesus.

Sorrow upon sorrow.

One friend was hesitant to share fresh, hard news from his family. “There’s just so much hurt in everyone’s lives right now. I hate to add to the pile.”

Such a pile.

But we turn to Jesus and listen.

In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.  (John 16:33 NIV)

The word “trouble” means pressure, and I immediately think of how my heart feels these days. Squeezed. Aching.

It seems fitting that Jesus gives only one instruction, and it’s specifically what to do with my heart that’s being crushed under all of this hard news.

Take heart.

Do something with your heart!

This same instruction is found in the Gospel of Mark. Jesus and his disciples are leaving Jericho, and a blind man calls out to Jesus from the side of the road, begging for mercy.

(Mercy, yes please. Couldn’t we all use a dose of that right now?)

Jesus tells his disciples to call the man, so they holler:

Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you. (Mark 10:49b NIV)

Forgive me, but I hear this in a British accent, and it makes me laugh out loud.

Cheer up, man! Do something with that discouraged heart of yours. On your feet –spit spot!

There’s something wonderfully hopeful about being told to pull your heart together and get to your feet. With anticipation the man jumps up and goes to Jesus, and he finds that mercy for which he’s been desperately looking.

As pressures continue in my corner of the world, this is what I continue to do every morning, every hour of the day, and in the dark hours of the night: I feel the pressure of troubles and obediently cheer up my heart by thinking about God’s promises, jump to my feet with hope, and go to Jesus, in anticipation that he can and will do good and show mercy to me and all my people. He’s so kind.



  1. Yes, sorrow upon sorrow. Feeling squeezed—the never-ending kind-of-squeezed—attacks and betrayal from the enemy in the person of whom we thought was a friend, people we love falling left and right to cancer and disease at ever young ages, devastating financial struggles among us…the Body of Christ is reeling it seems. Thank you for this reminder, this Holy perspective, I will indeed be praying this way in the middle of the night when I too feel the burden for so many. I will include you too, Christy. Much love, for we live In Christ Alone.

    1. I do think we’re all surrounded by people who are living in hard circumstances. I’m trying to learn how to shine in the middle of the pain and suffering. Thank you for including me in your prayers!

  2. We endure wave upon wave in these seasons, until we feel like we’re drowning. It is such a relief to know that Jesus’ hand is there to hold while we get our feet back under us. It’s only then that we can catch our breath. I will pray for you to have time to breathe.

  3. Cheerio! Just exactly the reminder I needed this morning, as usual. Thank you for sharing what He puts on your heart. ❤️

  4. I love those last words, such an encouragement. You’ll continue to be in my prayers.

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