Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord. (Ps. 31:24)

CAN YOU IMAGINE how the disciples felt the day after Jesus was crucified? The four deadly Ds of disappointment, doubt, discouragement, and despair must have engulfed them. Added to that was the fear that a similar fate awaited them.

As they huddled behind a locked door in the upper room, I wonder if they talked about happier days. Did any of them recall the things Jesus had told them in that same room just a day and a half earlier? Or were they numb with shock and grief, unable to process, much less talk about, what had happened and how their faith had been shattered?

Early Sunday morning when Mary Magdalene came and told them she had seen the Lord, that He was risen from the dead, they didn’t believe her. If I had been there, if I had seen the glow on Mary’s face and heard the awe in her voice, I wonder if I would have believed.

Today, even though we have the witness of countless believers and the written record in the Gospels, Epistles, and the book of Acts, sometimes we still doubt. Problems can overwhelm us and cause us to take our eyes off Jesus, who was victorious over death. But we can rejoice. He will help us to be strong and to take heart as we choose to hope in Him.

Prayerfully acknowledge the toughest problem you face, and claim God’s victory over it.

Marlene Bagnull is a wife, mother, and grammy to three youngsters who live within walking distance. She directs two Christian writers’ conferences.