Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted. – Matthew 5:4 (ESV)

No one is perfect.  No one ever has been.  Except for Jesus, that is -and He was fully man and fully God, so that puts Him in a special category.

Being imperfect means we are going to make mistakes.




Hurt and get hurt.

Not necessarily out of malice or ill will.  But simply because life is imperfect.

When we think of mourning, we think of a widow in black, or someone who has lost a loved one and is grieving.  But mourning comes in many different varieties.

We can mourn a relationship gone sour.

We can mourn any loss – a job, a position, you name it.

We can mourn our old home when we move away.

We can mourn bad financial decisions or any number of poor choices.

We are human.  We are not perfect.

We are not perfect.

And God – the infinite, all powerful, all knowing Creator and sustainer – knows that.

He knows your weak spots.  He knows where you have tripped. He knows where you will fall.

God is bigger than our failures and faults.  And He will help youout of every jam.  There is no trouble beyond His abilities

God is love.  Trust in His love. Rest in Him.

Tonight, stop worrying.  Start praying.  Start trusting.  Expect the Lord to move in your life, and rest in Him.

Take Off That Cape

 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)

The other night my wife, son, dog, cat and I were all snugly seated on the sofa, watching The Incredibles.  And I learned a valuable lesson: if you’re going to be a superhero, don’t wear a cape.

They’re dangerous.

They get you sucked up in jet engines, caught on ledges… They cause any number of entanglements that will put you in mortal danger.

I also learned that trying to be a superhero when you are not – trying to live beyond your capacity for self-aggrandizement – is a bad deal.  

How often in life do we feel like we need to be a superhero – for ourselves or for others?  Sometimes it feels like we need to don a mask and cape just to survive the day.  The burdens in our lives and the lives of those around us get so heavy that we end up bogged down.


We can’t do it all.  We can’t fix everything.  We cannot make all of life right.  Superhero is not part of our job description.

What we can do is lay down our heavy yoke of burden and take up the yoke of Christ.  We can choose to take off the burden of sin, of shame, of hardship and pain and sorrow.

And we can face life with faith in Jesus.  We can believe that God has it all in control.  We can accept the fact that we cannot go it alone.

One of the many remarkable things about faith is the strength it brings.  We are not responsible for the end results.  We are called to believe in Christ, to find strength in God (not self or other people), to love others and be salt and light…  When we realize these things and let God rule in our lives, fully trusting in His faithfulness and love and grace and mercy, that we find the strength we need – His strength – to face life with peace and hope.

To focus on God and not troubles.

To help others with their burdens.

To be salt and light, an shining example of Christ.

To be who God created you to be.

Today, cast off your burdens and cares.  Turn to Jesus.  Trust Him with your situations, your journey, your life.  

And take off that cape.  You don’t want to end up sucked into a jet engine, do you?

Five Reasons to Let Go


1  Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. – Romans 5:1-5 (ESV)

Memorize this passage.

Study it thoroughly.

Let the message sink in your very soul.

Tuck it away in your mind so you can review it anytime you feel troubled, or useless, or hopeless.

Let go of the troubles that plague you.  There’s no reason to carry them any further.

You see, these five simple verses are among the most hopeful in all of Scripture.  Here Paul explains why we have every reason to hope and not fear, be joyous not dreading, find freedom in Christ and not imprisonment in guilt or pain or sorrow.

We have been justified by faith.  In other words, through our faith in Jesus – by placing our trust in and following Him – we have been found innocent.  Every sin forgiven.  The slate wiped clean.  Our records expunged.  The past is done.  Gone.  The old man is gone as well.  We are renewed through Jesus!  So let go of whatever it is in the past that is holding you down.

We have peace with God through Jesus.  The Greek root word for “peace” means “to join”.  In other words, because of what Jesus did on the cross for us, and because we have placed our faith and trust in Christ, we have a very real and tangible connection with God.  The damage done by Adam and Eve has been repaired.  The breach is bridged.  Through Jesus Christ, we are forgiven and now can approach God – anytime – with full confidence that He is with us, He is in control, and we can rest in Him.  So let go of whatever fear is holding you back.

We now stand in the grace – the unmerited favor – of our Heavenly Father, who loves us with a love that is beyond our frail capabilities.  He guides our paths.  He extends such grace to those who believe in Him, trust in Him, rely on Him.  God will change our hearts, form us and shape us and lead us down the path He has designed for our lives.  In His grace we find the right path for our lives, if we will but follow and trust is the Lord, and not our own ways.  So let go of whatever uncertainty is keeping you from stepping out in faith.

Because of all this, we have hope.  Hope in Christ.  Hope for the future.  Hope for the here and now.  Great expectations of salvation and help in time of need.  Will our earthly suffering end?  There is no promise of a pain-free life.  But we find meaning in our suffering, strength in our weakness, strength to carry on because we are being carried by the Lord.  So let go of whatever weakness has you incapacitated and let Christ be your strength.

The Lord is with you always.  The Holy Spirit is within you.  And He is lavishing you with His perfect love.  He has given each of His children the gifts we need: forgiveness, freedom, joy, grace, hope, love…  So let go of whatever it is that keeps you from accepting these gifts from the Lord – whether it’s doubt or hurt or fear or simple pride – and embrace God with great abandon.  Let go of the shame.  Let go of the painful memories.  Let go of the bitterness and hurt.  Let go of the need to feel in control of your life.

Just let go.  Rest faithfully in God.  Seek Him.  Place your whole hope in the Lord.  And discover the amazing peace that comes from simply resting in Him, despite how circumstances may appear.

Out of Order


But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. – John 6:33 (ESV)

This verse keeps coming back to me.  I cannot tell you how many times I have written about it.

I think God is trying to tell me something.

So often we live our lives out of order.  We put so many things first and try to fit God into our hectic schedules.  Or, probably more often, we don’t treat the Lord as if He is Who He really is: GOD, The God, Creator and Sustainer of the Universe and all it contains.  The Great I AM.  Our Heavenly Father.

It is easy to take God for granted.  After all, when life gets busy, we tend to dart through the hours and days with blinders on, rushing from home to work to school to soccer to bowling to canasta to the movies to mow the lawn to go back to work…

You get the gist.

And all of this turmoil and trouble and time tripping causes us anxiety.  We don’t take time to tend to what is important.  We lose our true focus and, when things go haywire and life hits the proverbial fan, we think, “How did that just happen?”

Then, after we’ve been blind-sided by life, we turn to God.  We run to Him, begging for help.

We promise to go to church every Sunday if only He will ________________ (fill in the blank).

We determine to change, to put our lives right.

We begin seeking God.  And life begins to calm down.  We see God working in our lives and feel genuine joy.  And gratefulness.

Our faith is strengthened.  Our hope renewed.  Our focus sharpened on Christ.

And then…

The shiny object grabs our attention.  We slip into old habits.  If we’re not careful, we let life get ahead of us.  The Lord once more plays second fiddle to our schedules.

And we find our lives in reverse order once again.

The simple truth is this: so many of our stresses would be relieved, so many troubles averted, so many problems avoided, if only we would live our lives in the right order.

With the right perspective.

And the right priorities.

When we live our lives with Jesus at the center – truly spending quality time in His Word and in prayer – without putting our own wants first, we will find that the troubled that deviled us don’t bother us so much.  That’s because we aren’t mulling over our worries and fears and doubts.  We’re focused on the Lord and His will and His ways and His promises.

And it begins to dawn on us that life really and truly isn’t about us.

It’s about Christ.  It’s about what He did for us on the cross.  It’s about seeking His will first and foremost and far above my own imperfect desires and plans.

When we truly seek Go first, and put Him at the center of our lives, we find the peace and joy we so diligently seek.  It’s not that life always gets easier.  But, our focus switches.  And the troubles of this world see far less worrisome in the light of Christ.

If you are finding yourself over stressed, over burdened, over worried, over consumed, over booked, over busy, overwhelmed… stop and consider the order of your life.  Are you putting God first in your life, or trying to stuff Him in a box to fit in your crazy schedule?  Are you truly making Him Lord of your life, or paying Him lip service?  Do you trust Him enough to let Him call the shots, or do you want to be in control and let God have an advisory role in your life?

These are questions I ask myself quite often.  And the honest answer is not always very comfortable.  But I have found that, when I seek God first – when I lay down my control freak tendencies and my worries and fears and doubts and realize that I don’t need to know the outcome but The One Who determines the outcome – then I experience freedom.  I find peace and joy and rest for my soul.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. – Proverbs 3:5-6 (ESV)