Taking Heart

Just From Jesus Simply Taking


Just from Jesus simply taking life and rest and joy and peace. I stand in my kitchen, listening as the words fall and flow like Isaiah’s waters in the wilderness. “The burning sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water”, he prophesied.

God knows I am thirsty.

And, just from Jesus simply taking— this is living, gospel water.

My default, a combination of temperament, experience, and the general human condition, is to approach the Christian life ready to do, to strive, to work. I am not a Deist; I do not believe God just wound the clock and left us to run. But I can live as if I am the main force in my life, God having jumpstarted it by grace.

We sang Tis So Sweet at our wedding, hands raised, declaring God’s faithfulness and our need. These days, the old hymn ministers to me again. “Just from Jesus simply taking” does not come naturally, and has not been my posture as of late.

Just from Jesus simply taking— can it really be that simple? In the midst of all that is going on in and around me, life and rest, and joy, and peace are mine to simply receive? As I meditate on these words, the weight in my heart shifts a bit.

If we have eyes to see them, to listen for it, we will find Scripture replete with God’s divine invitation to simply take.

I came that they may have life and have it abundantly (Jn. 10:10).

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest (Mt 11:28).

Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full (Jn. 16:24).

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 (Jn. 14:27).

Life. Rest. Joy. And peace. These are mine and yours for the taking. Not as mighty conquerors claiming a prize. No, not as the world gives does he give. Not by earning. Not with strings attached, only if you’re beautiful and smart and strong and good enough.

This is Jesus who gives. Precious Jesus, who said of his own body and blood, offered to sinners— Take, eat and drink. To those with no hope of making it on our own, he gave himself that we may freely receive what he has bought with his blood.

So come, weary ones, and find rest. Come depressed and despairing, find joy. Come, anxious and obsessive worriers, find peace. Come broken and dying, and find life. Take him at his word and rest on his promise. In simple faith plunge beneath the healing cleansing flood, and find grace to trust him more.

Taking Heart

Do Not Lose Heart: My Current Go-to Playlist

I thanked God today for creating music.

I believe that more than I can understand, my life has been shaped by the songs I have heard, put on repeat, and sung. It is amazing and miraculous to me how God uses music to stir our emotions and how when combined with the right truth creatively expressed, our affections for God and the things of God are deepened and awakened.  It has been this way for me for as long as I can remember. (The very first time I was touched by the gospel was hearing my parents singing in choir about someone “dying in my place.” I was only around 7 years old, and I didn’t even know what or who they sang about, but to my embarrassment and surprise, I teared up wondering who and why someone would die for me.) And if you put together a massive soundtrack of all the songs that I chose to listen to throughout the years, you could track my progress in the faith. You could see what I felt and wrestled through and what God was teaching me. The progression in the kind of songs that I have enjoyed throughout the years are a reflection not only of changes in musical preferences, but how God has touched me, grown my love for him, formed my desires, and matured my understanding of what it means to live the Christian life.

This last year or so, the songs I have listened to the most have been put into my “Do Not Lose Heart” playlist. I called it this because 2 Corinthians 1-4 has been huge for me this past year and these songs reflect major themes in what I have been struggling through, learning and enjoying of God- the future glory we have in him, the hope of what God promises the church will be, walking by faith with the community of God, not losing hope in the face of circumstances where I cannot see or understand his ways, and more. They have been on repeat in my iTunes and I thought I’d put it on Spotify to share- just in case they would encourage another as they have encouraged me. I guess you could say it’s my way of “addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs” (Ephesians 5:19) over the internet!

And here it is: Faith’s Do Not Lose Heart Playlist. There are 23 tracks. Enjoy and may your hearts be refreshed and encouraged today.

Edit: Here is a list of the songs and artists:

There is a Fountain – Enfield
Stronger – Hillsong
Sometimes – David Crowder Band
Christ is Risen – Matt Maher
After All (Holy) – David Crowder Band
Desert Song – Hillsong
He is Exalted – Shane & Shane
The Hymn (O What Mercy) – Tim Be Told
I Stand Amazed – Candi Pearson Shelton (on Passion)
Jesus Paid It All – Kristian Stanfill
Like Incense / Sometimes By Step (Live) – Hillsong
The Love of God – MercyMe
Shadows – David Crowder Band
This is Our God – Hillsong
Worthy of Affection – Shane & Shane
You Alone Can Rescue – Matt Redman
Your Grace is Sufficient – Shane & Shane
A Mighty Fortress- Christy Nockels
Oh, Great Love of God – David Crowder Band
10,000 Reasons – Matt Redman
By Faith – Keith & Kristyn Getty
All I Have Is Christ – Sovereign Grace Music (Next Gathering version)
Never Once – Matt Redman