New Book Release: Thirty Stories Of Hope

Wilt 30 Stories BookToday is the release of my new book – Thirty Stories Of Hope. It’s a gift book/ebook based on my Keep The Faith radio stories. These stories are for everyone who needs Hope. You can buy the new book by clicking here.

Joy Is Found In A Person

{ Joy }

[ Excerpted from Thirty Stories Of Hope: Daily Readings To Encourage The Heart; all stories are transcribed and edited from actual radio broadcasts ]

If you’re anything like me, you’ll recognize that we often think of joy as something that happens to us. And yet, joy seems to be outside of our control; we simply hope joy will come, and usually our experience reveals that it is fleeting. Joy does not come to us as often as we would like it to.

The word “happiness” begins with the prefix “hap” – which literally means chance.  But joy is something completely different. My grandfather, as he was dying of heart disease in his 60s, would sit on his front porch with me on a swing, his oxygen mask on and his little cup of ice chips in hand (all the liquid he was allowed to have). We would slowly swing back and forth together while he poured his wisdom into my teenage heart.

He would talk to me about girls, about work, and about what it means to have a fulfilled life. At one point he said to me,

“Dan, I want you to never forget this:
Joy is not something that happens to you;
true Joy is found in knowing a Person.

Early in the morning on the day my grandfather died, I was sitting with him at his bedside. He was gripping my hand and in his delirium, he was calling out for old army buddies, for his mommy, and for others that came to his unfiltered mind.

Then, suddenly, he stopped.

He grabbed my hand with as much strength as he had when he was healthy, and he looked me in the eye. “Daniel!” he said with steel in his voice, “Enjoy your life, enjoy your life, enjoy your life! Jesus will take care of you. I love you, I love you….” His voice trailed off as he slipped back into his delirium.

I was stunned. With tears in my eyes, I recognized that my grandfather had left me a legacy in that moment.

When he said, “Enjoy your life,” I knew exactly what he meant. He meant for me to place the One who is Joy at the center of my bright days and dark nights, and to revel in the family and friends that He would give me along my journey.

My grandfather passed on that day – into the waiting arms of His Lord Jesus. For him, his Joy was now complete.

I have never forgotten that day. Nor have I forgotten that Joy – true Joy – is found in knowing a Person. Joy is meant to be experienced daily by constant attention to this priority relationship in our lives.

We allow Christ’s Joy to indwell us, and encourage us along this journey. That is what it means to enjoy life. As a worshiper, I encourage you – pursue the Person who is Joy.

“Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory.”

Psalm 73:23-24 NIV

READER’S GUIDE (excerpt)

[A note to blog readers: A Reader’s Guide is provided at the back of the book, and is designed to help you more devotionally connect with the idea represented in each story. There is one page devoted to each narrative, and all are titled and numbered according to those stories. These notes are for personal use, or for use in discussion with a group.]

Joy Is Found In A Person

{ Joy }

Finding Hope Through This Story

There is a confidence that marks a life that knows what it means to be near God. As we grow in an intimate friendship with our Lord, our designs to achieve and succeed begin to diminish, and we begin to desire to know God as we are known by God. Just as my grandfather called me to enjoy my life, so you too can take a hold of God’s presence with you, and learn to walk this world’s wild terrains with Joy at your side. Take heart; take hope. Your God is with you, and He is your source of Joy.

A Word Of Encouragement To Pass On

I want to encourage you to set aside the lesser loves with which we fill our lives to invest yourself in knowing the God who has called you exclusively to Himself. He loves you, beyond any human love. If you turn your energies to cultivating that relationship, in prayer, in Scripture reading, in meditation, and in worshiping with other believers, you will find that God’s Joy will begin to be stirred in you.

Finding Joy in your life will then begin to become the rule, rather than just the exception, because your eyes will slowly be trained to look for more than “happiness.” You’ll be looking for God’s present love being revealed in each circumstance, which is our ongoing source of Joy.

Wilt 30 Stories BookThirty Stories Of Hope: Daily Readings To Encourage The Heart will be out in the next month. It was designed to be the perfect Christmas gift (in cost, size, and content) to give out to family and friends who need their spirit’s renewed and their Hope rekindled for a new year. 

You can buy the new book by clicking here.


Sheltering Mercy: Prayers Inspired by the Psalms

Sheltering Mercy, along with its companion volume, Endless Grace, helps us rediscover the rich treasures of the Psalms—through free-verse prayer renderings of their poems and hymns—as a guide to personal devotion and meditation.

The church has always used the Psalms as part of its prayer life, and they have inspired countless other prayers. This book contains 75 prayers drawn from Psalms 1-75, providing lyrical sketches of what authors Ryan Smith and Dan Wilt have seen, heard, and felt while sojourning in the Psalms. Each prayer is a response to the Psalms written in harmony with Scripture. These prayers help us quiet our hearts before God and welcome us into a safe place amid the storms of life.

This artful, poetic, and classic devotional book features compelling custom illustrations and foil-stamped hardcover binding, offering a fresh way to reflect on and pray the Psalms.