Back

Daughter, Take His Hand – Lori Altebaumer


Faith
May. 17, 2022

Daughter, Take His Hand

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) I’ll never forget the ship captain’s words the first time I went on a cruise. In an effort assuage the concerns of…

Keep reading

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

I’ll never forget the ship captain’s words the first time I went on a cruise. In an effort assuage the concerns of us land loving first timers, he told us not to worry.

“The ship will never be more than five miles from land,” he said. Sounded nice until we realized he meant straight down.

Kind of like Jesus’ statement above. Jesus says he’s overcome the world. Yay!

Oh… but you’re going to have some–a lot–of trouble anyway.

This verse is all fine and dandy—perfect for the t-shirt or the coffee mug—until the trouble is mine. On an average day, sure, I can take heart knowing Jesus has overcome the grit of the day-to-day grind in a broken world. I can quote this verse with a humble smile—as long as the real trouble belongs to someone else. I can carry my cross—as long as it’s the size of a gold or silver pendant dangling from a chain around my neck.

But when I’m the one knee deep in the mire, feeling the heat of the flames, or dodging the arrows trying to take my life… well, I’m a little less prompt to be taking heart.

What does taking heart even look like when real trouble overtakes me?

Speaking from personal experience, I believe taking heart looks like full surrender.

I don’t know why this is happening Lord, but I give up my need to understand, I and trust you as sovereign over everything.

I can’t fix this Lord, so I’m releasing my efforts to control the situation into your hands.

I’m not strong enough to get through this, so I’m going to cease trying to get through it in my own strength and rely on yours to sustain me.

In the middle of a long night, tear-soaked sheets beneath me, I surrendered to God’s will, to His plan even though I didn’t understand, and I certainly didn’t like it.

At least, that’s what I thought I was surrendering to.

Turns out I was surrendering to his love. A love I don’t always understand. A love I don’t always recognize until I look back on the trial I have come through.

Jesus didn’t want to go through every trial he faced. On the eve of his crucifixion, he cried out “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me…” (Matthew 26:39NKJV)

But wait… wasn’t this the same man who had told his followers to “…take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33NIV).

First, let’s all just take a moment to be thankful for this verse. Jesus had already declared he’d overcome the world. He knew what awaited him on the other side of the trial and suffering. And he knew the true purpose behind the ordeal he would face. He had every answer and every reason to charge head on into the trouble before him. And yet, he could still pray for it to be otherwise. He could still ask his Father if there was, perhaps, a Plan B.

Just because the door to the fiery furnace opens before us doesn’t mean God expects us to fling ourselves in with joyful abandon. Don’t beat yourself up for the questions you ask, the reluctance, or even anger you feel. In Jesus, “we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weakness…” (Hebrew 4:15NJKV).

This should ease the guilt and shame we sometimes feel when we, with our limited understanding, ask God for a Plan B of our own.

It is heresy to deny that we have questions. It is human to want to know why this suffering has happened. Why us? Why now? And how am I supposed to take heart when mine is shattered in a thousand pieces, broken beyond repair, or pulverized until I’m no longer sure I even have a heart?

We need to also understand it wasn’t the torture and physical pain Jesus asked for a way out of. It was his separation from God he dreaded. In order to pay our debt, Jesus took on the full weight of our sin and received the wrath of God that was due us. In those desperate hours of his crucifixion, he felt the despair of being separated from God by sin—our sin.

Unlike Jesus, we never have to feel that separation from Father. No matter what we’ve done or what trial we’re going through, he’s right there with us. When we’ve accepted Jesus as our Savior, our sin cannot remove us from the presence of God. Neither can our doubts, our questions, or our foolish mistakes (see Romans 8:35).

A love we can trust in and a love we can’t lose—that is how we take heart. 

Perhaps this verse in John 16 could have been rendered, “Take my hand. I’m right here with you always. We’ll get through this together because there is victory on the other side.”

When I place my hand in the hand of my Father I know what it means to take heart.

As an author of faith-based fiction, I often wonder why I choose to write suspense? Why am I drawn to create stories where sin is central to the plot?

The answer is simple. I want to share this simple yet powerful, life-changing truth. No matter what your trial or how much trouble you’re facing, Jesus has overcome.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

Daughter, take his hand.

My latest novel, A Far Way to Run (due out May 26th), is a compelling story about overcoming the past to discover your purpose. This novel chronicles what happens when a woman traumatized by a violent sexual assault must make a life-defining choice to continue hiding or stand up in the face of evil to save a stranger. Will my heroine find a way to “take heart” in knowing that Jesus has overcome?

Click here to pre-order a copy.

Want a chance to win over 30 Christian fiction books for free?

Click on the link below to find out how.

https://AuthorsXP.com/giveaway

This multi-author giveaway contest ends Monday, May 23rd, so don’t miss out!

Used with permission of the author, Lori Altebaumer. To read more of Lori’s writing, visit www.lorialtebaumer.com.

Related Blogs