Out On Open Water

The gospels give us two different accounts of Jesus on the Sea of Galilee. In the first (Matthew 8:23-27), the disciples are in the boat with Jesus when a raging storm comes up, threatening their lives. As the disciples are panicking, Jesus is in the back of the boat, sound asleep. When they wake Jesus, He gently rebukes them (“O ye of little faith”), then commands the storm to stop.

Which it did.


In the second (Matthew 14:22-33), Jesus sends the twelve out on the sea without Him. Again, the winds blow up, threatening to capsize the boat with the disciples aboard. Out on the choppy swells they sea what they think is a ghost. The “apparition” is no apparition at all.

It’s Jesus.

But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”

And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 

Matthew 14:26-32 (ESV)

Notice a few things:

  1. In both instances Jesus was in the storm with the disciples.
  2. In both instances Jesus recued the disciples.
  3. In the first instance, Jesus led them into the storm, and stopped the storm immediately.
  4. In the second instance, Jesus bid Peter to walk through the storm. Peter was fine as long as he kept his gaze on the Lord. But, when he took his eyes off Jesus, Peter began to drown. When he cried out “Lord, save me!” Jesus did just that. Immediately.
  5. In the first instance, Jesus spoke to the disciples, saying “O you of little faith”. When He rescued Peter, Jesus repeated the phrase to him. And then, just as before, He calmed the storm. This should have served as a reminder to Peter about the first storm Jesus saw them through – emboldening their faith even more.

There is a lot to glean from these two passages in Matthew. But the point I’m making here is the simple / obvious one: we’re going to have troubles in our life. Circumstances are sometimes going to be ugly. Even when you’re far away from the relative safety of the shore, the LORD is in the boat with you. The wind and waves are under His control. Whether He stops the storm immediately or calls us to walk through it, He is there.

There is no reason to fear any storm in life. The LORD is in the boat with us. Focus on Jesus, not the troubles. Stay the course with God and know it’s all OK. It doesn’t matter how your bad your situation may seem, it’s all in God’s hands. Rest in that knowledge. Praise God for Who He is. And keep your eyes on God.

Philippian Keys

If you’ve been reading my articles and short devotionals over the years, you probably know my favorite place to go when I’m facing anxiety and worry is Philippians 4.

A great tool to use when studying Scripture is to look at the key words in the passage. Let’s look at Philippians 4:4-9 [NIV] and focus on the key words in this passage. My prayer is that this blesses us, and helps us get rid of the dreadful worries and fears that plague us, and put our minds on track where they should be: faithfully praising God through our storms, firmly rooted in Jesus Christ and remembering the LORD is sovereign over all – even the things that cause us anxiety and worry.

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. – When are we to rejoice in the Lord? Always! Not “always unless…” Not once we feel like it. Not when circumstances improve. When we rejoice in the LORD, we put our focus on Him, not our problems. We recognize He is in control, not us. We realize He has everything in His hands. Would the apostle Paul instruct us to rejoice always – even repeating the point to emphasize it – if there was a reason to worry instead?

Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; – I love that word “reasonableness”. Other versions of the Bible translate the Greek term as “gentleness”. I believe the message here is this: don’t freak out. Be calm in the storm. Think of Jesus on the boat with the disciples as this massive storm rages around them (Matthew 8:23-27). The twelve are in a panic, sure they’re going to drown. Jesus is in the back of the boat, sleeping peacefully. When they awaken Jesus in their fright, He says, “O ye of little faith…” And calms the storm. When Jesus got in the boat with the disciples, do you suppose He knew the storm would take place? He led them right into it! Sometimes He does the same with us. Never ever will you face a situation where God looks at it and says, “Hmm… I didn’t see that coming.” When facing a storm, we need to go to the LORD first – in faith – and let others see our faith in God. No matter what’s going on, God is with you. Just like Jesus was in the boat with the twelve.

do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – What should we fear? What is there to be anxious about? Nothing. We are to not worry about anything. Instead we are to take everything to God in prayer, trusting Him, knowing He is in the boat with us. And – a huge key to this – go to Him with thanksgiving. We can do that when we surrender our lives to the LORD, knowing deep down there is nothing too hard for Him, that He loves us with a depth we cannot measure. We go where God leads us, but we don’t always know where God leads us. Or why. But we must trust that He has a purpose for us – to grow us, strengthen us, help us. This is not merely for our own sake, but for those He places in our lives as well. Once we let go of the worries and fears over our situations, and trust that God is in control, we can experience God’s peace. We don’t need to figure it out. It’s “beyond understanding”. It may make no earthly sense to be at peace with the struggles we’re facing. But that’s why it’s God’s peace He’s giving us. It is based on our sure hope in the Lord’s goodness, grace, mercy and love. As Jesus was preparing His disciples for His coming crucifixion, He said to them, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (John 14:27, ESV).

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. – We need to focus our thoughts on the things of God, on His Word, on His promises. Not on our problems. Not on our worries. But on our Heavenly Father, on Jesus Christ, on the Holy Spirit. Jesus modeled grace under extreme pressure for us. And the Bible repeatedly tells us not to be anxious.

I hope this has blessed you deeply. If I can pray for you, please let me know. And if would please continue praying for me, I would appreciate it. It isn’t easy to let go of anxiety and give it all to God. But we have to learn to let our faith grow through our trials. :In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33b, ESV).

Rest For Your Soul

The struggle with anxiety and depression has been a real battle lately. Stress triggers, life changes, life issues, life in general, all can work to drag a person down in the mire of negativity and worry and burn out. I share this not to elicit sympathy, but to inspire hope. Hope is there for all of us.

Let mem share some truth with you. Ready?

(Jesus said:) “28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

– Matthew 11:28-30 (ESV)

All who labor and are heavy burdened are those of us who are worried or stressed, weighed down by the troubles of life.

Those who are hurting.

Those who mourn.

Those who are confused.

Those who are at a loss about where to turn.

Those who are at the end of their tether.

Those facing a broken relationship.

Those who hunger for something more.

Those who feel abandoned, rejected, unwanted, unneeded, unloved…

Those who have a need they cannot seem to fill.

Those who feel helpless.

Those who worry about tomorrow.

Those who can’t get out of bed to face today.

Those who constantly relive the shame or guilt or pain of yesterday.

Those who feel alone.

Those who feel hopeless.

Please know this: you are not hopeless. You are not beyond help. You have Jesus.

Yes, you’ve heard it before. But where is God when we cry out? Where is He in the silence? Where is He when we hurt and ache and cannot sense His presence?

He is right here. He is with you. And when we’re in the midst of the fog of depression, it’s even harder to hear from Him. The key, I believe, is simple. Not necessarily easy, but simple.

It’s about letting go. It’s about trusting God and taking Jesus at His Word. It’s about going to the LORD in faith and crying out, letting go of the hurt and the fear and the anxious troubles and the despair and hardship. It’s about choosing to believe what we cannot necessarily see with our own eyes.

Theer comes a point where we have to simply admit we cannot carry this burden any longer. We need to seek the LORD, trust Him with every aspect of our lives, and wait for Him.

No, it isn’t easy. We’re often tempted with the worrying thoughts and wearying sadness that comes from our troubles and hardships and sorrows. Instead of latching on to the troubling notions that plague our untrustworthy emotions, remember what Paul said:

35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written,

“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
    we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

– Romans 8:35-39 (ESV)

Despite what our emotionds may be telling us, the LORD is with us always. Don’t give up. Don’t lose heart. Don’t flame out. Trust God. And when you feel you can’t hang on much longer, cry out to Jesus and trust Him. And just keep trusting Him – despite how circumstances may appear. God has you. He knows us better than we know ourselves. Trust Him.

Jelly For The… uh… “King”

 But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

– James 4:6-8 (ESV)

Trying to rule the world around me is hard. I’m tired of kicking myself when I miss the mark. I’m worn out with struggling when life around me is not going the way I expect. I’m exhausted by striving for results that continue to elude me.

It occurs to me that, perhaps – just perhaps – what’s made me so tired isn’t the circumstances I face, but the over-sized gargantuan ego I drag around with me. As a perfectionist control freak who absolutely has to call the shots in every area of life, the leap of recognition that all these thoughts are rooted in a swollen ego is a bitter pill to swallow.

But swallow the pill I must.

As a child, I hated taking pills. I mean gag-me-with-a-children’s-aspirin dislike for pills. Thankfully, my grandmother had the answer: grape jelly. A pill hidden in a spoonful of grape jelly was much easier to take. Far less gagging, far more cooperation from 8-year-old me. (By the way, I’m sure any flavor of jelly will work. In the mid 1970’s, I didn’t realize jelly was made from any other fruit. And orange marmalade was definitely no substitute!)

As an adult, I no longer use the grape jelly method of pill swallowing.

But I wish I did.

I could excuse all my attempted sovereignty by saying I have “trust issues”. After all, who knows me better than me? Who knows what’s best for me better than me? Looking back at my life, I can truly the say the answer to these questions is not “me”. Indeed, every good thing to happen to me – every time something bad was made good – I was not the one responsible for the results.

It’s always been God.

And yet, I still struggle with double-minded doubts and try to take back control of issues I’ve already “given” to the LORD. Who am I to ever think He’s too slow to move, too busy to care, etc.?

The simple truth is this:

“Seek the Lord while he may be found;
    call upon him while he is near;
let the wicked forsake his way,
    and the unrighteous man his thoughts;
let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him,
    and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.

For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.

– Isaiah 55:6-9 (ESV) (bold typeface added for emphasis)

Refusing to let God be sovereign is a problem. For one, wow… who am I to every think God could be anything less than absolutely sovereign over all? Who am I to question His decisions, His timing, His ways? Who am I to think everything in life needs to make sense to my limited cognitive capacity? Who am I to feel everything has to go my way?

It’s time to stop gagging and take my medicine. It’s time to just surrender. It’s time to see the LORD for Who He is and who i am.

It’s time to abdicate my phony “throne” and accept that God is in control, not me. It’s time to rest in His goodness, love and grace and drop this sin of self-centered egotism. The LORD wants me to give up all control to Him. He doesn’t even want me to be an advisor.

Man… this whole surrendering thing is tough! But I have no real control anyway. And God’s ways are infinitely better than mine.

I need to surrender to Jesus in all areas of my life and rest my ego. That’s the only way to bring down the swelling.

Merry Christmas!

From we Courtneys to each of you, we pray for a most blessed Christmas and a wonderful New Year!

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest,
    and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. – Luke 2:1-20 (ESV)

The Fourth Watch

22 Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. 23 And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24 but the boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them. 25 And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. 26 But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”

28 And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29 He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” 31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

– Matthew 14:22-33 (ESV)

These guys were tired. They had to be. The day just ended had been a long one. They had just learned John the Baptist had been beheaded at Herod’s command. They had participated in the miraculous feeding of five thousand hungry seekers (probably more lime 10-15,000 because the women and children weren’t counted, just the men).

Now the disciples find themselves on a boat trip Jesus Himself had commanded them to take. They were far from the shore. It’s the middle of the night (between 3:00-6:00am).

And a fierce storm hits.

We’ve all been there. We’ve had a rough day – to say the least. We’re stressed out. Life has had its way with us. And, in the middle of the night – WHAM! – the anxious thoughts begin. The “what ifs” begin swirling in our minds, crashing over our thoughts like ways on a stormy size. We feel like our boat is about to capsize.

When we’re in the depths of anxiety, it can be hard to see Jesus. Even when He is right before us, our eyes are so transfixed on the storm raging around us that we see nothing else. The disciples had, only a few hours before, played an active role in Jesus feeding a crowd that would fill a small stadium with a mere five loaves of flat bread and two fish. Still, they missed the Lord right in front of them.

But look at Peter. He recognized the voice of the Lord. He stepped out into the storm to get to Jesus.

And he nearly drowned when he took his eyes off Christ and onto the storm. Peter cried out in fear to Jesus.

And what did Jesus do? He saved Peter.


Despite the storm, Peter – and all the disciples – were safe in Jesus. They couldn’t see Him. All they could see was the danger all around them. Jesus was right there in the middle of the maelstrom, and they couldn’t see Him. These guys walked with Jesus, witnessed so many miracles, heard His wisdom and teaching, and still couldn’t recognize Him on the rough, choppy, wind churned waters. The Lord was the last place they expected to see anyone: walking not only on water, but storm swelled, wind-driven waters.

The lessons to glean here are many. But it’s three in the morning. The fourth watch. So let’s keep it simple for our anxious, stressed out, tired brains. The fact of the matter is we don’t know what we don’t know. We perceive trouble. We worry about the future. We get to a point where the stresses of life build up and crash around us to the point where we can’t tell which way is up anymore. The shore – safety – feels a long way off.

But, despite the appearance of our circumstances, Jesus is right there. In the midst of the storm, He is right there. He waves don’t swallow Him up for He is in control of it all. When Jesus says “calm”, the storm calms. And notice the storm didn’t abate as soon as the Lord grabbed Peter, but when He delivered the apostle back to the boat. Jesus carried Peter through the waves, the wind, the lashing rain, the life-threatening danger.

And Jesus does the same for us.

Do not worry. Do not doubt. Remember this: we see the storm. We perceive danger. But we are limited in our cognitive abilities. We don’t know what we don’t know. And what we do know (or think we know) is easily misinterpreted. Thankfully we have Jesus to save us. To carry us through the storm. All we need to do is cry out to God and believe.

Seek Him always. Rejoice in the Lord always! Rest in the Lord despite the rocking of the boat. The LORD is with you always, even when you can’t see Him.

All Together?

You keep him in perfect peace
    whose mind is stayed on you,
    because he trusts in you.
Trust in the Lord forever,
    for the Lord God is an everlasting rock. – Isaiah 26:3-4 (ESV)

I wish I could tell you I have it all together. I wish I could tell you I’m never anxious, never worried, never have a doubt cross my mind.

I wish I could say I always stay ahead of my depression. I wish circumstances never bothered me, never tripped me up. I wish I didn’t want to crawl off to live in a cave (with electricity and high-speed internet, of course).

I wish I could tell you I have it all together.

But I don’t.

And that’s a good thing.

You see, if I had it all together – if I never had a care, never a worry, never a doubt – I would be delusional. These things make me realize how much I need my Heavenly Father. When the weight on my shoulders becomes too much, the LORD reminds me what Jesus said:

28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

– Matthew 11:28-30 (ESV)

When the burden is too heavy, He gives me the prescription to my anguish:

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

– Philippians 4;4-9 (ESV)

God’s word reflects reality. How I view my circumstances is not an accurate reflection of reality. I’m not perfect. I’m not omniscient, omnipotent or omnipresent.

But God is.

And God’s plan for my life is perfect. His love, grace and mercy are there for me. He is with me – always. He has my life and every aspect of it – large and small – in His hands.

And this perfect, all-knowing, all-powerful, ever-present God is my Father. And He loves me.

And He loves you.

And you don’t need to have it all together, either. Cast your cares on God. Get in His Word and stay there. (I’ve been soaking in Philippians 4 for a couple of weeks.) When the worrisome thoughts descend, focus on God and His promises. Pray.

And I humbly ask you to pray for me. And I will pray for you.

I’m glad I don’t have to have it all together. I need to pray, to trust, to rest in God. He is faithful, even when I am not.

Thank you, Father.


“But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”

– 2 Peter 3:8 (ESV).

Think about it. God exists outside of time and space. Nothing binds Him. He cannot be contained. He is above all. He is active in all His creation.

Everything is in His hands. Everything is in His time. Everything.


Every detail. Every minute detail.

Do not fear, dear friends. Do not worry. Go to God with your every care. Every concern. Every worrisome thing. Every pain. Every lack. Every need. Everything.


Every thing.

Trust God. Know He loves you. Know you are in His hands. Trust Him above your own thoughts.

He exists outside of space and time. He knows all. He can do anything and everything.


Every thing.

Questions for God. Purpose for Life

26 And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, 27 that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, 28 for

“‘In him we live and move and have our being’;

as even some of your own poets have said,

“‘For we are indeed his offspring.’

Acts 17:26-29 (ESV)

Oh, the questions we ask God sometimes.

Why am I here?

Why didn’t this or that work out?

Why can’t I manage to open this door in my life?

How did this happen?

What do I do now?

All good questions. When we find ourselves in a place in life we do not want to be in – circumstances our our making or through no fault of our own – honest reflection and self-examination is good to avoid life’s pitfalls from happening again. (Wisdom is always good, and life’s best lessons are many times hard learned.)

The problem is often – no, I’ll go out on a limb here and say usually – when we ask these questions of the LORD, we are asking the wrong questions, for the wrong reasons.

We miss the point.

The point is this: God is sovereign.

16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Colossians 1:16-17 (ESB)

We need to always remember this: whatever we face, God knows.

Our hopes and dreams – God knows.

Our hurts and failures – God knows.

Our fears and worries – God knows.

Our needs, our weaknesses, our past, present and future – God knows.

And, being sovereign over all He created means the LORD is not bound by time or space. Wherever you have arrived in life, God is already there.

And He knows what you need. He knows how to see you through. He knows what’s best for us, and what isn’t. He knows when we’ve tripped and fallen. He knows why life isn’t fair.

And, for us, knowing this – that our Heavenly Father Who loves us with a depth our minds cannot fathom, is sovereign over all – is far more important and significant than any hurt, loss or shame we experience.

It doesn’t matter where you are. God is there. And Jesus is where our focus needs to be. Not on ourselves. Not on our failures. Not on our shame or pain or suffering. True strength, real success, comes from faithfully, patiently waiting on the LORD. He knows what we need far better than we do.

And He can take you where you are, as you are, and doing an amazing work in you. We are here to serve God and others, to set an example of faith in Christ, to surrender to Jesus and let Him do as He wills in our lives.

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

Philippians 1:6 (ESV)

The Immutable Basis of a Sinner’s Hope

by Chris Courtney

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. – James 1:17 (ESV)

Who is this man? And why is he so happy? Read on and find out.

Sometimes the world seems to be spinning so fast, it feels like it could wobble right off its axis in an uncontrolled free fall. It’s easy to get anxious these days. Turn on the TV and the horrors around us play out before our eyes. Shootings, political leaders who seem to have lost their minds, COVID variants, supply chain issues, inflation, rumblings of wars, racial tensions… where does it end?

The simple truth is this: what we see, what we think is going on, what we hear and see in the media… none if this is the whole truth. Only God – the Only One Who is omniscient – knows the whole story behind what’s going on this world.

In our lives.

In this unsteady world, we have our Steady, Never Changing Heavenly Father. In Him we can trust. His Word is the Word of Truth. His promises are trustworthy because only He is trustworthy. Despite all the chaos swirling around us, we can stand firm and strong in God and His Word. Regardless of how hopeless our earthly situation may seem, we have Hope in Jesus Christ.

Edward Mote knew this. Born in London in 1797, Mote came to know the Lord at age 18. Long before his days in pulpit ministry (he became a pastor at age 55), Mote spent thirty-seven years as a cabinet maker. One day, on his way to work, Mote had an idea. He explained, “One morning it came into my mind as I went to labour, to write an hymn on the ‘Gracious Experience of a Christian.’:

And that is exactly what he did.

Mote titled his hymn “The Immutable Basis of a Sinner’s Hope”. We know it today as “The Solid Rock”.

Edward Mote knew well in Whom he could place his trust, in Whom he could rest. And he expressed his faith in far more beautiful words that I ever could. Soak in this wonderful verse. Let it fill your soul with the love, grace, mercy, and peace of the Lord our God, Who loves us beyond comprehension. And worship The One Who knows all, created all, and sustains all.

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.

His oath, His covenant, His blood
Support me in the whelming flood;
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay.

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in Him be found;
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.

—Edward Mote (1797-1874)