A Place to Stand by Samuel Hall is a true story about a family who experienced hard times in the Oklahoma Panhandle of the 1950’s. Claire, Elmer, and their three boys persist through drought, storm, freeloading relatives, and the grief of tremendous loss. After her husband’s grueling battle against cancer, Claire is left alone to run the farm and get out of debt. On top of that, she is robbed, then robbed again by her own thankless nephew. On the verge of despair, she steps outside to have a little talk with God.

Where are You in all this, God? How much more can we handle? She finds calm and the will to go on in the quiet night sky.

I’ve asked God the same questions when life has become too painful to bear. And the beauty is, God is big enough to listen, even when we’re angry and disappointed. He provided me with the hope I needed to keep going.

Between kind and generous neighbors and a surprise provision from the Lord, Claire and her family got through their trials too. God gave them a firm place to stand. And He will do the same for us.

All of us get discouraged when things don’t turn out as we hoped, but we can take heart that God will give us the grit and faith to face each new day. To “take heart” means to refocus our minds and bravely face a tough situation.

King David told himself and other believers: “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord… Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord” (Ps. 27:14; 31:24). Our hope has to be built on something solid—we can’t just hope in hope, or believe in thin air. In both of these verses, the character of the Lord is our reason to hope again. Because He is faithful, and never gives up on us.

These psalms reveal David’s determination to find courage when he was tempted to despair. We need this encouragement too, when we don’t think we can take another step forward. That’s why going to church and being part of a small group is so important. When we’re discouraged, we need to be able to tell others how much we’re hurting so they can hug us, pray for us, and help in tangible ways. The Body of Christ is meant to lift each other’s burdens and celebrate each other’s victories.

This song by The Afters is a perfect confirmation of how God can lift us up when we are losing hope: “I Will Fear No More.”