Category: <span>thoughts by Bethany Hayes</span>


We stand confused.
He is not.

Circumstances spin out of control.
He’s right on schedule.

Life aches.
He has a purpose.

We fret.
He is calm.

God is not pacing the floors, wondering what’s going on, biting His fingernails, or dissatisfied with our lives and the world in general.

He is often grieved, I’m sure. But He’s never surprised. Never caught off guard. Never strategizing to see how He’s going to smooth out what’s been made crooked now.

His perspective is different from ours.

His ways are higher.  God’s at peace.

And He’s satisfied.

One Puritan writer explained it this way.

Our lives seem like a jagged race—a fretful sprint from pillar to post. But at the end of the race, we will turn around and look back.

And all we’ll see is a straight line.

God is satisfied.

Rest in this peace-giving truth.

Jesus answered and said to him, ‘What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this” . . . ‘Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him. Do not fret.” (John 13:7; Psalm 37:7)

By Bethany Hayes
Used by Permission

We Welcome your comments.

Enter Email


Why Worry Yourself Sick? – by Muriel Larson
Dealing with Inner Turmoil By Dr. Henry Brandt
Up from Depression
Struggling with Depression – Merri Ellen Giesbrecht tells her depression story and her story of hope


thoughts by Bethany Hayes Thoughts by Women

Have you ever asked the Lord to draw you closer to Himself — then, found an overwhelming trial lying between you and that closeness?

The apostle Peter found himself in this position.  Caught in a storm, he saw Jesus in the distance, walking on the waves.  He wanted to be close to the Lord, but the storm lay between him and that closeness.

Suddenly Jesus spoke, telling Peter and the others not to be afraid.  The Lord was standing on the waves — they were no longer an obstacle.  Granting his request to come closer, the Lord allowed Peter to walk on those same waves.

Not until Peter glanced at the storm did the pathway to Christ become an obstacle again.  The waves began to consume Peter instead of lead him to the closeness he initially desired.  Looking at the waves made walking on them impossible.

Crying out to the Lord, Peter instantly learned how close the Lord already was.  What at first seemed like an obstacle was in reality a pathway.  The waves simply revealed his overwhelming need for the strong arms that were already near.

Are you looking at the waves of life and finding them impossible to cross?

Look up.  And see Him standing on those same waves.

He is not far from every one of us;
For in him we live, and move, and have our being.”
~ Acts 17:27,28

Father, Thank You for Your constant presence.  Thank You for the trials that show us our need for You.  Help us to acknowledge our need by looking to You daily and moment by moment.  In Jesus  Name. Amen.

You can read the entire account of this storm in Matthew 14:22-33.

by Bethany Hayes
Used by Permission

We Welcome your comments.

Enter Email

Further Reading

Overcoming Obstacles – by Charles Stanley

• Hope for a Bright Tomorrow –  by Gail Rodgers

• Blessed Obedience – by Idelette McVicker

thoughts by Bethany Hayes Thoughts by Women

I just spent an unhurried weekend in an unhurried town with a good friend who’s never in a hurry.

Coming from a hurried town and a hurried life, slowing down didn’t come easy.
Until slowing down was required—slower than I realized.

The preacher in the old country church on Sunday spoke of Christ, the Bread of Life.

Our only sustenance.
Our life.
The best provision.

Christ, the reason no one needs a hurried life.

We hurry for numerous reasons. More often than not, we hurry because we’re planning to do it all.

We have bills to pay, a life to live, dreams to reach for, and hopes to pursue.
We have to do it.
And we have to hurry about it.

He has already provided,” the country preacher said. “And He has promised to provide.”

Your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask . . . I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Matthew 6:8; Hebrews 13:5)

A simple promise for a hurried life.
God will provide.

Be still and know that I am God.”(Psalm 46:10)

By Bethany Hayes
Used by Permission

We Welcome your comments.

Enter Email

Further Reading

• Wait for the Lord – by Katherine Kehler

Living One Day at a Time – by Palitha Jayasooriya

Taking Time to Care –  by Gail Rodgers


thoughts by Bethany Hayes Thoughts by Women

Like a tree planted by a river, finding a constant source of life and nourishment.

Like a tree spreading out its roots to that source, reaching for that which will make it strong.

Like a tree that’s unafraid in heat, because its roots are drinking from that which satisfies.

Like a tree whose leaf is always green, because the tree never lacks.

Like a tree not anxious in drought, because the river will always supply enough.

Like a tree yielding fruit, because it has all it needs and extends to others from that supply.

Like a tree strong and trusting, reaching out its roots to the constant source of life and supply.

Lord, make me like that.

Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, and whose hope is the LORD. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes: but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit.
Jeremiah 17:7,8

By Bethany Hayes
Used by Permission

We Welcome your comments.

Enter Email

thoughts by Bethany Hayes Thoughts by Women

A glow shone from her face; a happiness in her eyes from some inward or outward source—he couldn’t tell which.

He watched as she spoke under her breath, eyes glistening with tears that had shed but were now being wiped away.

He wondered if she’d been drinking.

No. . . I have poured out my soul before the LORD,” she replied (1 Samuel 1:15).

Hannah’s peaceful glow of joy came from pouring out in prayer and leaving behind.

She learned that prayer is the great exchange—a placement of need and grief into hands of grace and power and going away burden-less and joyful.

Every trial of our faith is but a trial of His faithfulness.” ~ Frances Ridley Havergal

So Hannah prayed and poured out and went away in peace.

She traded her trial for the peace of trust in His faithfulness.

Her faith might fail, but His faithfulness never would.

Prayer is the great exchange—need replaced by peace even when the need still exists. Prayer places the trial in Another’s hands and knows His faithfulness will stand the test.

“The woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad.” ~ 1 Samuel 1:18

Hannah poured out her soul to the Lord and traded her trial for peace.

If our prayers don’t result in this great exchange, I wonder if we’ve really prayed.

In everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto GodAnd the peace of God which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6,7)

By Bethany Hayes
Used by Permission

We Welcome your comments.

Enter Email

Further Reading

• Prayer Journey – by Katherine Kehler

How to Pray Lessons and Articles

What to Include in Prayer


thoughts by Bethany Hayes Thoughts by Women

United Airlines has a slogan . . . “Place your expectations in the upright position.”


We all have them.
We may call them by a different name – hopes, dreams, visions for the future, a reason to set goals today.

Expectations lie embedded in every one of us.
The key that gives a glimpse into tomorrow.
The driving force behind today.

The Hebrew calls them: “the thing that I long for.”

But what if we did “place our expectations in the upright position”?

What if we placed all our hopes, dreams, visions, and goals in a position higher than ourselves; outside of ourselves; beyond ourselves?

Forward and Upward.

On a God who sees the end from the beginning.
Who knows our thoughts before we think them.
Who knows our dreams, hopes, visions, goals . . . our “expectations” . . . before they were ever “the thing that we long for.”

What if we DID place our expectations in the upright position?

We would find ourselves within sight of our journey’s end.

We would constantly be aware that beyond today’s journey lies a hope beyond our expectations.  Greater than we can visualize.

My expectation is from HIM,” David said (Psalm 62:5).

Forward and Upward.

The perfect position to place all that we long for.
The upright position.

By Bethany Hayes
Used by Permission

We Welcome your comments.

Enter Email

Further Reading

A Poem of Hope …”I feel the arms of God around me”

19 Ways to Encourage Others

•  Salvation Explained

Follow Us On:  Facebook  • Twitter  •  Instagram  •  Pinterest

thoughts by Bethany Hayes Thoughts by Women

There’s a growing tendency among Christians to believe God is smiling or frowning at us based on our Christian performance.

We read His Word. We pray for the missionaries. We thank Him for breakfast, and so He smiles down at us as we begin our day.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

This thinking assumes we can somehow earn God’s approval—something foreign to what we believed the day we were saved.

But the Gospel wasn’t written for the day of salvation only. This good news should guard every day.

God is pleased with us based on what Christ did for us; never because of what we do for God.

Jesus cried out with a loud voice from the Cross and asked, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

The Father turned His back on His Son, because at that moment our sin was placed on Him. And God couldn’t look.

He couldn’t smile on His Son. Instead, His wrath was poured out—the wrath we deserved.

Why did God forsake His Son?

So He could smile at you and me, though we sin every day.

God is smiling at us, because our sin was already judged when God turned His back on His Son.

Christian “performance” is the joyful way we smile back.

His own self bore our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness.”~ 1 Peter 2:24

By Bethany Hayes
Used by Permission

Further Reading

•  The Seal of Your Father’s Pleasure – by Sylvia Gunter

•  Slippery Slope – by Julie Cosgrove

•   Blessing Of Your Heavenly Father – by Sylvia Gunter

thoughts by Bethany Hayes Thoughts by Women

Where were you when you first heard the gospel?

A camp meeting?
A church service?
A long flight and a kind seat mate?

Were you anywhere west of Asia?

If so, you have the providential hand of God in directing the steps of the first missionaries to be grateful to.

The first person to hear the Gospel west of Asia was Lydia, the first convert to Christianity in Europe.

Lydia was actually from Asia.

Even more ironically, the people who shared the gospel with her were missionaries who planned to go into Asia, but the Lord led them to Europe instead.

Sometimes closed doors don’t make sense.
Often the wide open ones don’t either.

For these missionaries, both the closed and open doors left them wondering.

But they obeyed.

And they met a group of women in Europe whose hearts were already prepared to receive the truth.

Lydia was among them and came to Christ.
Next, her household believed.
A slave girl was delivered from demon possession.
Then, a jailer was transformed.
His household believed.
And a church began in Philippi.

From there, the Gospel continued to spread West.
Now, it has gone all the way around the world.

God directs our “steps “. . . and our “stops,” someone once said.

If you heard the Gospel somewhere West of Asia, you have those “steps” and “stops” of God to be grateful to.

We can never determine all the why’s of God’s leading.
But we know this . . . His own, silent answer to our why’s have a greater meaning than we could ever comprehend.  A deeper and more loving meaning than we could ever determine for ourselves.

Steps and Stops of life are God’s prerogative.

Obedience and trust are ours.

by Bethany Hayes
Used by Permission

We Welcome your comments.

Enter Email


Going Deeper with God
Making a Difference

thoughts by Bethany Hayes Thoughts by Women

Have you ever wished that birth certificates came with road maps and that life offered a few more directions along the way?

Life often looks like one giant highway full of bends in the road, four-way stops, and endless freeway with no assurance that you’re going to actually get there.

God doesn’t leave us directions, a map, or a voice mail

Our family used to go camping when we were small. One year, when I was six or seven, we hiked up part of Mt. Jefferson.

The snow was deep.  Too deep for my small legs to find their own footing.

Instead, my dad went ahead of me, and all I had to do was step into his giant foot prints.

I was safe as long as he’d already been there, and I knew the way as long as I stayed close behind.

Psalm 85:13 tells us our Heavenly Father “makes His footsteps our pathway.”

He doesn’t hope we’ll find the path.

He makes it for us by going ahead.

We find our way by staying close behind. Like a child.

Not trusting our steps, but watching for His and stepping into them with full assurance.

He “makes His footsteps our pathway.”

We don’t need a road map to life.

Just childlike faith.

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with my eye.” (Psalm 32:8)

By Bethany Hayes
Used by Permission

We Welcome your comments.

Enter Email

Further Reading

•  The Winding Road of Life – by Kathy Cheek

•  The Difficult Road – by Kristi Huseby

•  Salvation Explained

thoughts by Bethany Hayes Thoughts by Women

Ever wonder why we can forget what we had for breakfast or what we wore yesterday, but offenses–someone else’s or our own–seem to lodge in our memories like planks in our eyes?

When it comes to sin, one fundamental difference between God and His people is this:

We remember.

God forgets.

I like how Max Lucado put it.

Just as it’s against your nature to eat trees and against mine to grow wings, it’s against God’s nature to remember forgiven sins.

It’s hard to think of God as the forgetting God. Forgetfulness seems more of a vice. Something to take pills for or the evidence of sleep deprivation.

God remembers His people. He will never forget His promises.

But when we confess and ask God to forgive sin, He forgets.

It’s gone from His memory.

In fact, it’s against His nature to remember.

This isn’t an imagined, hoped-for, made-up characteristic of God. He said it Himself in Isaiah 43:25,

“I even I, am He who blots our your transgressions for My own sake; And I will not remember your sins.

We tend to ask for His forgiveness over and over, because our guilt and memory burden us down. We want to forget, and we tend to think God hasn’t.

If we could only hear Him say to us in return,

I gave you forgiveness the first time you asked. I don’t remember it anymore.”

We often ask God for something He already gave: Forgiveness.

Forgiveness that forgets.

When the sins God already forgave haunt you, remember.

He forgot.

“I will forgive their iniquity, and their sins I will remember no more. Jeremiah 31:34

By Bethany Hayes
Used by Permission

We Welcome your comments.

Enter Email

Further Reading

•   Are You Forgiven – A Devotional by Sherry Yarger

•  You Can Live Forgiven – Devotional by Max Lucado

•  Salvation Explained


Follow Us On:  Facebook  • Twitter  •  Instagram  •  Pinterest

thoughts by Bethany Hayes Thoughts by Women

Hudson Taylor said it right. “There are three stages in the work of God: impossible, difficult, done.”

Have you experienced this in your Christian journey?

Impossible. God leads you to desire and to pray for something so impossible, you write it down on a secret prayer list, because maybe someone would call you crazy for asking. God doesn’t. He told an elderly couple they would have a son. He told a virgin the same, followed by the words, “With God nothing will be impossible” (Luke 1:37).

In both cases, the impossible happened because it was in God’s plan for it to be so. Ask Lazarus’ sisters, Abraham’s wife, Moses at the end of his life.

God loves our impossible prayers. He loves to see our faith implore Him to do what we know could never be done apart from His intervening hand.

Difficult. This middle stage in God’s working is where many of us give up. A ray of hope glimmers, but He has yet to accomplish our request. It’s still hard, but it no longer seems so impossible. He is working, and we see it. But we can’t see how the difficult thing will ever be considered done.

Maybe this is how Jairus felt when he finally found Jesus. His need was no longer impossible. But, due to a delaying miracle, the difficult went back to the impossible. But what did Jesus tell this man whose faith began to plummet with his circumstances? “Do not be afraid; only believe” (Luke 8:50).

Keep believing, Jesus told this man who was in the midst of the most impossible, difficult situation of his life. And Jairus saw it done.

Done. “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life” (Proverbs 13:12). The long waiting through the three stages of God’s working challenges us to hold on to faith in who we believe God to be and how faithful we believe Him to be to His promises.

Do you remember what He said to elderly Sarah who laughed to be told she would give birth to a son? “Is anything too hard for the LORD? At the appointed time, I will. . .” (Genesis 18:14).

Impossible? Yes.

Difficult? For sure.

Done? God gave this old woman the child He had promised.

I don’t know what you’re praying for or what God’s will in that situation will ever be?

But one thing you and I can know for sure is this.

He can: “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh.
Is there anything too hard for Me?” Jeremiah 32:27

By Bethany Hayes
Used by Permission

We Welcome your comments.

Enter Email

Further Reading

•   God Is…

•  More than a Father

•  Salvation Explained

thoughts by Bethany Hayes Thoughts by Women

Everyone is looking for peace.

If you were to ask ten people on the street what they want most in 2023, “peace” would most likely be mentioned. We want peace for those experiencing the effects of war. Families are searching for peaceful resolutions. Our personal lives crave peace. Many wonder what peace really is and where it can truly be found.

Peace is the possession of adequate resources.” – George Morrison

Could there be a better definition?

Imagine finding yourself on a highway with very few gas stations. A full tank of gas would give you peace. You possess the adequate resources, so there is no cause for concern. Realize your tank is on “empty,” and peace quickly disappears.

Why do many Christians lack peace? 

We forget we have adequate resources. We are short-sighted, seeing immediate needs and circumstances, and forgetting what we possess.

We have tried-and-true promises made and always fulfilled by the “God who cannot lie.” (Titus 1:2)

We have the food of God’s Word sitting on a shelf waiting to be read and designed to satisfy in ways “comfort food” never could. We don’t live by three meals a day alone, but “by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4)

We’re told to cast all our cares on Him in prayer. Why? “Because He cares.” (1 Peter 5:7) At His feet, we “find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)

We should never fear death. Death is simply the doorway to the everlasting life we received when we placed our faith in the death of Jesus on the cross in our place. By faith, we know we will never experience the wrath we deserve. God placed it on His Son instead. This is the ultimate source of peace.

 Are you looking for peace this Year?

Do you have these resources?

If so, look no more.

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.
Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27)

By Bethany Hayes
Used by Permission

We Welcome your comments.

Enter Email

Related Reading

•  My Search for Peace by Eva Reinhart

•  Overwhelming Peace –  by Deborah Yemi-Oladayo

•  Salvation Explained


thoughts by Bethany Hayes Thoughts by Women

Ever found yourself up against a Red Sea—hemmed in, with nowhere to turn?

Ever faced a wall too high and too strong, with no way over or through?

Have your circumstances caused you to long for previous, even loathsome days—like the Israelites who said it would have been better to be back in Egypt, serving the Egyptians?

It would have been better to still be ‘back there’ than swallowed up with THESE circumstances.”

It’s at times like these when the Lord says:

“Stand still . . .See. . . ” (Exodus 14:13)
Watch what I will do.
You have nothing to do but be silent.

 Oswald Chambers once said:

Dare I really let God be to me all that He says He will be?” (“My Utmost for His Highest,”)

When the Israelites had nowhere to turn and God said He would act, they dared to let Him be for them all He said He would be.

They stopped, stood still—marched silently around an impossible wall—and watched God work.
Because He said He would.

The sea split open.
The walls fell down.
They crossed through their frightening circumstances.
They marched around their greatest fear.
Because God said He would work.
They had nothing to do but be silent.

Someone has defined “rest” as to “cease striving.”

When the children of Israel let their faith rest, they watched God work.

God stepped in, because He was capable of doing what they couldn’t.
They rested in who their God is. They watched silently.

They passed through (Hebrews 11:29); they took the city (Joshua 6)—only after God had worked.

They did what God said, because He said He would do it.

Ever found yourself against a Red Sea, a wall like Jericho’s, a circumstance, a need, a dream, an ache that only God could conquer?

He is able.

Dare to let God be for you all He has said He will be.
Faith that rests will watch God work.
Every time.

Trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. . .
Rest in the Lord.” (Psalm 37:5,7)

By Bethany Hayes
Used by Permission

We Welcome your comments.

Enter Email

Further Reading

•  Grace Upon Grace   by Max Lucado

•  Abraham’s Journey of Faith – by Fab Batsakis

•  Salvation Explained


Follow Us On:  Facebook  • Twitter  •  Instagram  •  Pinterest

thoughts by Bethany Hayes Thoughts by Women

“I am the LORD your God. . . Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.” Psalm 81:10

Have you ever spent a day watching the activity of a mother bird following the arrival of her latest brood?  She has one purpose only – to bring good things to the open mouths of her hungry children.  Unable to care for themselves, her babies wait in expectation for her presence and her provisions.  And all day long, she feeds them, knowing they will grow and survive only as she supplies their needs.

The Lord made a promise in Psalm 81:10:  “I am the LORD your God. . . Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.”   When we are convinced He is the Lord our God, we will open our lives wide to Him.  Like a baby bird in dependence on another, we will wait in expectation for what He chooses to bring our way.  When we are trusting Him, we will accept the abundance He brings and let Him fill us to the full.  A wide mouth in expectation of blessing requires this deep and open trust.

Imagine if a baby bird decided he would rather fend for himself.  How far would he make it from the nest?  How soon would he require the sustaining influence of his mother’s care again?  And I wonder – Is this how God views our doing, our working, our going, and our efforts?  In their place, these are right and good.  But does He see personal attempt alone with no expectation on Him?  Our efforts are useless apart from His blessing – the kind of blessing He promises to open, trusting mouths.

How wide is your mouth and mine?

Father, Thank You for promising to abundantly meet our needs as we trust in You.  Grant us the faith that opens our mouths wider to Your blessing today than they were yesterday.  In Jesus’ Name.  Amen.

by Bethany Hayes
Used by Permission

We Welcome your comments.

Enter Email

Further Reading

•  Going Deeper with God
•  How to Pray
•  Salvation Explained

Follow Us On:


thoughts by Bethany Hayes Thoughts by Women

“Gird up the loins of your mind, be sober.” 1 Peter 1: 13

“Are. . . .You. . . Thinking. . . About. . . .”

These words posted on four consecutive signs on the side of the road did what they intended to do.  They caught my attention.  A red light held me in suspense, however, as the fifth sign was unreadable from where I was stopped.   “Are. . . .You. . . Thinking. . . About. . . .”  Let’s see.  What was I thinking about?  And what in the world were they expecting me to be thinking about?  The light turned green, and the suspense was shattered with an answer farthest from my thoughts: Botox cosmetics.

No. I was not thinking about Botox cosmetics.  But what was I thinking about?  Was it something true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, or even praiseworthy?  (Philippians 4:8)

Scripture says to “be sober,” which has nothing to do with avoiding fun and walking around with long faces.  To “be sober” means we never allow worldly suggestions to intoxicate our thoughts and leave us staggering through life.  We “gird up the loins” of our minds.  We reject wrong thoughts and opt for right ones.  We are the ones who determine the answer to the question, “What’s on your mind?”

So, what. . . are. . . you. . .thinking. . . about?  Guarding our thoughts, being sober-minded, and meditating on eternal truth will produce a transformation the Bible calls the “renewing of the mind.”  (Romans 12:2)

And that kind of renewal is guaranteed to leave noticeable results – ones that are even life-changing.

Father, purify our minds by Your grace.  Keep us mindful of thoughts we’re not ashamed to share with You. In Jesus’ Name.  Amen.

by Bethany Hayes
Used by Permission

We Welcome your comments.

Enter Email

Further Reading

•  The Battle for the Mind – A Devotional by John Grant

•  Let Him Change Your Mind – A Devotional by Max Lucado

Changing My Mind – A Devotional by Mika Edwards


Follow Us On:  Facebook  • Twitter  •  Instagram  •  Pinterest

thoughts by Bethany Hayes Thoughts by Women