A Song for the Suffering: Do Not Lose Heart

The Story Behind "Do Not Lose Heart"... 
Just a little over two years ago, my husband received a crushing phone call. His dad, Joe, had been diagnosed with the more aggressive onset of ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease), and would only have 12-18 months to live. This disease, made famous by the "Ice Bucket Challenge," has no cure and there is no real way to fight it. Your brain stops sending signals to your muscles - even to the involuntary muscles that you use to swallow and breathe. Slowly, your body deteriorates, and you lose the ability to walk, talk, stand, and eat. We were devastated.

On the surface, there is no real hope here: no hope of "overcoming the odds" or getting treatment or fighting the disease. And yet, the Bible says there is a hope. As we looked ahead to the suffering we knew his dad would face, and as I searched scripture for what comfort Joe might have in this hopeless situation, this song began to form. 

Based on Romans 8 and 2 Corinthians 4, "Do Not Lose Heart" speaks about the eternal, unwavering hope we have, even in the most difficult of trials. It is a hope achieved for us by Jesus's death on the cross and victorious resurrection. We do not lose heart, even when our flesh fails and we grow weary with suffering, because we know Jesus - who also suffered - has conquered death and is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all compare. As believers, we have a living, eternal hope that does not change when our circumstances change. 

This was a truth that sustained Joe until his last day. We lost him just this past April, and we grieve his absence. But because Jesus is risen and alive, we do not grieve as those who have no hope. One day, He will return and even death, that last enemy, will be soundly defeated.  

Life has been heavy and hard lately for a lot of people I know, and the world around us often feels chaotic and dark. I pray that this song will remind you of our great hope in Jesus, even in the midst of trial.

"Do Not Lose Heart" was featured on The Gospel Coalition's compilation album When Trials Come: Resurrection Songs for a World of Suffering. I had the privilege of curating the songs for this album, specifically with the theme of hope in suffering and the book of 1 Peter in mind. The album features Jenny & Tyler, Shane & Shane, Sandra McCracken, Jackie Hill Perry, Blair Linne, The Gray Havens, Page CXVI and many others.

This song was made possible by my very generous friend Kevin Cathey, who produced, engineered and played keys on the track. Also generously contributing their talents and time were Rob Antle on drums, Marshall Hampson on bass, Ronnie Jenkins on electric guitar, and Linzy Westman with BGV's.