Today’s Truth

I waited patiently for the Lord; He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God (Psalm 40:1-3 NIV)

Friend to Friend

In the 1950s, Curt Richter, a Harvard graduate, and Johns Hopkins scientist, did a series of experiments that tested how long rats could swim in high-sided buckets of circulating water before drowning. Dr. Richter found that, under normal conditions, a rat could swim for an average of 15 minutes before giving up and sinking. However, if he rescued the rats just before drowning, dried them off, and let them rest briefly before putting them back into the same buckets of circulating water, the rats could swim an average of 60 hours.

Conclusion: If a rat were saved – even temporarily, it would survive 240 times longer than if it were not saved at all.


How could these rats swim so much longer during the second session, especially after swimming as long as possible to stay alive during the first session? Dr. Richter concluded that the rats were able to swim longer because they were given hope.

Hope can stand beside grief and give us the strength to go on.

Hope can deflect the attacks of the enemy, even when we are wounded and weary of the battle.

Have you ever been so tired, utterly discouraged and in so much pain that you could hardly breathe? That is exactly where we find King David, the author of Psalm 40.

David had it all – success, money, power, and the favor of God. Men like that are not supposed to commit adultery – right? But David did.

When David realized that he had sinned against God, he pleaded with God to forgive him. “Lord, I have sinned” David cried. God’s mercy and love went to work, restoring David to the point that God said, “This is a man after my own heart.”


David puts into words the cry of his heart in Psalm 40:1-3:

“I waited patiently for the Lord; He turned to me and heard my cry.”

Did you notice the powerful truth that God turned to David? I don’t think David had the strength to turn to God. He had been swimming in his sin far too long. But like a father whose heart and ears are tuned to the cries of His children – even when they have made mistakes – even when they are broken and their lives are a mess, when the children of God cry out for God, He hears and comes running.

God meets us where we are. He lifts us out of our slimy pit and gives us a firm place to stand – in His mercy and grace. The forgiveness we experience through His love gives us hope and a new song, a hymn of praise for all He has done.

He is our God, Savior, and Friend when we are walking in obedience … as well as when we are wallowing in disobedience. His love is unconditional. His mercy is never ending. And His forgiveness is eternal.

If God heard the cry of David, He will hear yours. He knows everything you have done and loves you still. He can see every corner of your pain-filled heart and sees every tear you’ve cried.

David wrote, “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in Your bottle. You have recorded each one in Your book” (Psalm 56:8 NLT).

One of my favorite worship songs says it well:

I have a hope that will never fade away.

It’s alive in me, living day-to-day.

You can count on God to come through. He is your hope.

Let’s Pray

Father, I come to You – hopeless. I have sinned against You. But right now, I lay down any sin that I have committed and come to You with open hands. I receive Your forgiveness and ask that You purify my heart. I will once again praise You and please You with my steps of obedience.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

On a scale of 1 to 10, what is the level of hope in your life today?

Are you facing or have you recently faced a circumstance that has made you lose hope? What one step do you need to take to “cry out to God?”

More from the Girlfriends

Life is so daily, isn’t it? It is sometimes easy to lose hope. Need help? Check out Mary’s new devotion books, Life is So Daily (Volumes 1 and 2). It is our prayer that they will encourage and equip you to face each day with God’s power.

Connect with Mary on Facebook or through email at

© 2021 by Mary Southerland. All rights reserved.

7 Responses to “When Hope is Gone”

  1. Edith says:

    Thank you precious Mary for this devotion. I needed to be reminded of the love that my Lord and Savior has for me even though I have failed Him many times! God bless you Mary!

  2. Edith, thank you for your kind note. I know what you mean. We all need a reminder of just how much Gid has done for us and how much he loves us. Blessings!

  3. Joy says:

    Thank you so much, Mary. I need hope today! My son has been running from the Lord a long time. I have prayed for his salvation at least 25 years but he just keeps on the same downward spiral. He is about to lose it all. I hurt so much, but advice has been given to me to “let him go” like the prodigal son. Please pray with me for him to turn to the Lord soon! Thank you.

  4. I know your heart is breaking for your son, Joy. But until he hits rock bottom he probably will not come home. When he’s tried everything and lost everything is when he will return to God. I’m praying that the Father will capture his heart. I’m also praying for strength and comfort for you! Stand firm in Him! Blessings!

  5. Bernadette says:

    I am declaring today, I am never hopeless.
    Thank you for the reminder.

  6. Beth says:

    I just found out a couple of months ago that my youngest daughter; who is 23, says she is gay. Her older sister, 31, has developed some very liberal viewpoints. As their mother, I am struggling with these revelations since I took them to church and they went to Christian school. My heart is broken that they seem to be rebelling against God, but my hope is in him. He is in control. I can’t change their minds, only he can their hearts and minds. All my hope is in God. I feel I did my part as they grew up and now I have to trust Him to bring them back. Prayers for my girls are appreciated. Thank you Mary.

  7. Cristina says:

    Thank you for this devotion. “Hope can stand beside grief and give us the strength to go on.” These words brought tears to my eyes. I am tired, so, so tired but have so much hope. I am raising my grandson. My son, his dad and his mom are both addicts. My life has stopped and I have felt overwhelmed. I was a single mom when I had my son and now I am single again raising his son, I am 50. You’re devotion brought me comfort. I love knowing that God is working all things in our lives. His plan, His love. Thank you

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"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well…" 1 Thessalonians 2:8