It’s a joy to welcome my friend Chris Morris to the blog today. He has a new devotional book, By Faith, that releases in the world tomorrow. Read on to meet Chris, hear the story behind the book, and his hopes for readers, including all of you as he offers a blessing to us to start our weeks attuned to God’s presence in the midst of our difficulties and our days.

Tell us a little about yourself, who you are, what you do, and how writing is part of your calling.

My name is Chris Morris. I have four grown children and have been married to my wonderful wife Barbara for almost 30 years now. It’s crazy to think that I have lived more of my life married to her than not married to her. What a blessing!

I’ve been writing for more than a decade now, focused on the intersection of faith and difficult times. I started by writing about chronic illnesses because of some family history, and transitioned about 4 years ago to writing about mental health and faith.

The core idea running through all my writing is this: God is for us. Every day. No matter what. Even when he seems absent.

These statements have gotten me through some dark times, and I believe them to the core of my being. Communicating different aspects and outcomes of these statements is a key part of my calling in life, and God has used some of my circumstances to “road test” whether I really believe these ideas. These “road tests” include a lifelong struggle with depression and suicidality, as well as an autistic, epileptic daughter. Through it all though, God has shown himself present and faithful. I love having the privilege of talking about how hard times can draw the best out of us and demonstrate the tender mercies of God in surprising ways.

What inspired you to write your newest book, By Faith: Strength and Hope for Life’s Challenges?

I was reading Hebrews 11 and a new-to-me idea struck me. Most of the heroes we admire in the Hall of Faith didn’t get what was promised to them. Abraham never took ownership of the Promised Land. Moses died in the hill country outside Israel. Jephthah saw victory under his leadership, but lost his daughter in the process. In other words, pain and disappointment and longing followed these heroes of the faith, just as they follow us in our life.

I began to realize this was a strand I could pull on and examine in greater depth because we all feel a sense of longing for more from God than we experience in our daily lives. I saw that these stories, if examined a little more fully, could teach us lessons about how to survive the waiting and stay faithful to God. Some of the heroes we look at did this well, and many of them made mistakes that can be instructive to us.

I wanted to capture this overview of God’s work in the Old Testament in a compelling way. I believe a devotional is a great way to encourage us to think deeply about these heroes, their victories, and their failures.

How has Hebrews 11 shaped or encouraged your own faith journey? Or from another angle, which biblical character or story from Hebrews 11 resonates with you the most? Why?

This might be a surprising answer, but the biblical character from Hebrews 11 that I find the most encouraging is Noah. The call God placed on Noah was borderline crazy: build an ark because a flood is coming…even though nobody even knew what rain was. Yet, Noah was faithful to build the ark according to the very specific directions God gave him, and his family was saved from the coming destruction.

While there is no impending doom on the horizon for America or anything crazy like that, I am encouraged by his response to God. I have felt God lead me down some paths that felt pretty crazy at the time, but as with Noah, God has proven himself to be faithful to me.

I’ve noticed and deeply appreciated the holistic nature you bring to the reflection prompts following the 40 devotions. Share briefly how our holistic nature as human beings intersects with our faith walks. Why is it important to pay attention to this intersection?

Oh, this is a really thoughtful question! I believe that God created us as single, whole human beings. It’s in our nature to want to separate out our emotions from our bodies from our mental state, but that’s not God’s intent. Really, we know this too. It’s evidenced by the existence of words like “hangry.” Everyone has been hangry at least once in their lives, and the answer isn’t counseling—it’s some food!

Our whole selves are intimately connected, which means that our emotions impact our bodies which both impact our mental state, all of which impacts our faith walk with God. If we are sensing some distance with God then, one way we can approach that is to think about our sleep patterns or our eating habits or our emotional regulation. We might be surprised to find that our spiritual lives are impacted by these “unspiritual” things, but that is the way God built us.

It’s my understanding that your favorite part of writing this book was the blessings at the end of each devotion. Can you offer one to us today?

May God overwhelm you with a fresh sense of his bountiful love for you today. May you recognize afresh the encouragement that comes from know that all Members of the Trinity are fully for you and your success. May you walk in greater confidence as a result of feeling God’s camaraderie with you in practical ways.

What is your hope for the readers of By Faith?

My greatest desire is that people who read By Faith will walk away after forty days with a better sense of the goodness of God, even when circumstances are difficult. This book is really a hymn of praise, written in the minor key of suffering. I hope that readers will find themselves able to enter into that hymn with gusto and renewed faith as they see the character of God clearly unfolding in the lives of the Old Testament heroes.

Where can people order their own copy of By Faith?

The easiest place to order By Faith is through my website. Here’s the URL that will show you everywhere the book is available online:

The book releases March 5, but is available for preorder at any number of online outlets right now.


Chris Morris is a certified mental health coach dedicated to promoting understanding of mental health issues within the church. Because of a lifelong struggle with depression and suicidality, Chris became committed to breaking down the stigma surrounding mental health and encouraging others to seek after holistic health.

As a writer and speaker, Chris has shared his personal story and insights with audiences across the country, inspiring many individuals to take control of their own health, break free from poor theological teaching placed upon them, and seek the support they need. He has published several books on mental health and his work has been featured in a number of media outlets, including CrossWalk, The Mighty, and Fathom Magazine.

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