Category: <span>thoughts by Julie Lairsey</span>

A common issue many people face is a feeling of loneliness. Whether they are physically isolated or socially isolated, many find themselves in a pit of deep despair.


Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”  Hebrews 13:5

A common issue many people face is a feeling of loneliness. Whether they are physically isolated or socially isolated, many find themselves in a pit of deep despair. I too, have experienced this in a very real and raw way. Grinding through life, wrestling with difficult circumstances, and wondering if I was the only one struggling. Unfortunately, many times when we find ourselves in these circumstances we begin to believe the lie that God is not a loving God if he allows us to go down these lonely roads. Do not fall into this trap. Christ’s gift to us at Calvary paid the price for our sins, but did not guarantee us a pain-free or worry-free life. We often face challenges that are meant to draw us closer to him or help others through similar experiences. If you are experiencing loneliness, try to appreciate the lonely path Christ walked to pay the ultimate price for your deliverance, and attempt to discover the many ways you can comfort others in their time of need, which ultimately brings glory to God.

One of the most beautiful and impactful fictional illustrations of God’s presence never leaving us is portrayed in episode 2 of season 2 of the television drama “Chosen”. (The Chosen is a television drama based on the life of Jesus of Nazareth and is the highest grossing crowd-funded TV series or film project of all times.) In this episode, Nathaniel is introduced as an architect who designs buildings; but after a project he is developing collapses and severely injures several workers, his dreams are shattered, and he feels abandoned, let down, and all alone. Eventually, he finds himself sitting all alone under a fig tree and in a moment of desperation sets fire to his architectural plans representing his life’s work and cries out to God, pleading for help (Psalm 145:18). At the end of the episode, Philip introduces Nathaniel to Jesus who says, “I was there with you under the fig tree. I saw your face.” It is a climactic moment in the episode as Nathaniel immediately recognizes that he is in the presence of the Messiah. It is a reminder that Jesus is always with us, even at our weakest and loneliest moments, reassuring us that “he will never leave us or forsake us.”

Almighty God, thank you for granting us the courage to trust you in our times of loneliness. Give us the strength and confidence to know that you will never leave us. Fill us with your presence, teach us from your loving Word and let us live lives that bring glory to you, so that we too can comfort others in need. Amen.

Whenever you feel lonely, alone, or in need, remember that God himself lives in you by his Spirit and is offering you all the comfort, companionship, strength, and faith you need to persevere.

By Julie Lairsey
Used by Permission

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•  Studies and Lessons
•  Angels and Miracles
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“God is our refuge, and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”  Psalm 46:1


Where is your place of refuge?

Are you disturbed by the challenges in your daily life or by the uncertainties in the world we live in today? Do you look for security in money, status, or image? Do you seek the Lord as your refuge in these situations?

Today’s Scripture describes how God provided for the Israelites during a siege conducted by the Assyrian army. The Assyrians thought their victory would be swift, but they did not realize the Israelites were finding refuge in God. Prior to the siege, King Hezekiah’s faith in God prompted him to lead his army to dig a tunnel passing through the Kidron Valley and connecting to the Gihon Spring. When it was completed, King Hezekiah ordered his men to cover the entrance to prevent the enemy from finding the tunnel, which provided the water necessary to sustain his people throughout the siege. Through this incredible story, we are reminded that in trouble, God is our refuge and he is the same God yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).

The God who was unshaken and eternally in power in biblical times is the same God today. We should find our security in him as believers when we are feeling uncertain, afraid, or frustrated by life’s many challenges. When you devote your life to God, he will sustain you and as you seek to honor him. You will be safe under his protection just as the Israelites were.

We can be encouraged and find hope in the famed poem by Martin Luther called “God is our Refuge in Distress”

God is our refuge in distress Our shield of hope through every care. Our Shepherd watching us to bless, And therefore will we not despair; Although the mountains shake, And the hills their place forsake, And billows o’er them break Yet still will we not fear. For Thou, O God, art ever near.

Jesus, thank you for being our refuge. Help me to cover myself in your protection and to live a life fully devoted to you. Teach me to trust you and to know that you are in control. In your holy name I pray, amen.

Turn to God in worship and thanksgiving whenever you begin to feel anxious or afraid, knowing you are safe in him.

By Julie Lairsey
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•   God Is…

•  The Powerful Reality by Ruth Calkin

•  Salvation Explained


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“And he said: ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.’” Matthew 18:3

Our sweet granddaughter, “B”, has a lot of enthusiasm for Jesus, and an abundance of love and faith that is pure and beautiful. She is not afraid to love what she loves, and she does so with such joy and passion.

Recently, while looking at my journal and reflecting on what I call “b-isms,” I was reminded of the adorable things she has said and done. When she was three, she would often say,  ”I want to have a play date with Jesus.” When our neighbors moved, I said, “Wouldn’t it be great if you could live next door?” She held my cheeks in her little hands and said, “No, Mimi, I don’t want to live next door. I want to live in your house with you.” And, on a warm day in Texas, while out riding bikes, her mom told her they needed to go in. B said, “Mommy, don’t you know heaven is outside?”

Today’s Bible verse reminds us that we must become like little children. We have a lot to learn from children and their marvel. How can our walk with God be more childlike? Do we respond to circumstances with trusting hearts and an eagerness to learn while relying on Christ to sustain us? Are we naturally full of faith while being bold?

C.S. Lewis once said, “Christ wants a child’s heart, but a grown-up’s head.” Simply put, we must love Christ unconditionally while continuously learning about and sharing his love with others.

Jesus, help me to have childlike faith that is passionate and bold. Holy Spirit, draw me closer to you and give me radical love for you and others. Thank you, God, for guiding and teaching me in my walk with you. Amen.

Do you recall something a child said that touched your heart with Truth? Why not share that today with someone else?

By Julie Lairsey
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Your Father’s Heart Longs for You by Sylvia Gunter

Your Father’s Heart Longs for You by Sylvia Gunter

•  Salvation Explained

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“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” Proverbs 3:5&6

I thought my daredevil days were behind me until I ended up on a black diamond trail at a ski resort near Lake Tahoe.

We had discovered skiing while living in northern California in the early 1990s, and at the time found it to be quite exhilarating. I had not grown up around the sport and I was solid “bunny slope” material. My confidence soared when I graduated to green, then blue, runs and for a moment, I thought I had really improved. Then one day, while skiing with my husband, we hopped off the lift and started down a trail.

While honing the tuck, and trying to keep my elbows in, I cruised past my husband who was patiently waiting by a small sign at a fork. Trying my best to maneuver through the challenging terrain that included moguls and narrower and icy rides, I heard my husband catch up yelling, “You are on a black diamond, called JABOOM!!” Immediately, I felt defeated and thought, “How did I end up on a black diamond? How did I miss staying on the right path?”

God’s Word tells us that he will guide along the straight path, but that it is our choices that keep us on the path or force us to go a different route. Often, while thinking we are following God, we discover we have somehow left the path. Today’s verse reminds us that to keep our path straight, we must take action.

First, by choosing to trust God’s reliability and his Word and believing what he says.

Secondly, when we do not see the entire picture, we must not lean on our own limited understanding.

Lastly, we must have a submissive and humble heart that seeks to be conformed to the image of Christ, so that we can grow and be led to the path that is God’s absolute best for us! Jesus said that there is a path that leads to life, and he promises to guide us and show us all the roads we are to travel in this world.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for directing my path as I follow your commands and trust you with all of my heart. When I do not understand, please help me to rest in your promises and to continue to seek your guidance by submitting to you. In Jesus’s name, amen.

Before every decision you make this day, ask God to direct your thoughts and your paths so that you remain in his will.

By Julie Lairsey
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•  Truth – God’s truth remains the same from age to age,
•  Fully Surrender to the Lord
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“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the desert.”  Isaiah 43:18-19

During my last trip to Israel I allowed my husband to talk me into going through Hezekiah’s tunnel. At first, the cool water and width were fine but as we travelled deeper into the dark, cold, and wet tunnel the walls narrowed and I started to panic. Immediately, I turned to my husband and begged him to turn around but he and our guide said we could not and as my husband cajoled me onward, I knew I had to conquer my fears and move forward one step at a time. With each step, I prayed for strength and comfort and when we reached the end I felt victorious and thankful that I moved forward instead of turning back.

This experience reminds me of a popular song ‘Burn the Ships’ by the Christian group, “King and Country.” The song is based on the historical story of the Spanish conquistador Hernando Cortes and the bold decision he made when he and his men reached the shores of Latin America. Cortes knew his troops would encounter hostile natives, tropical diseases and unfamiliar terrain. As their leader, he was concerned his men would not want to persevere through all the challenges but would instead go back to the ships and sail back to Spain. To obviate this possibility, Cortez burned the ships.

Job 17:9 states,

The righteous keep moving forward, and those with clean hands become stronger and stronger.”

Do not let your fears or past experiences become your master and prevent you from accomplishing the plans God has for your life.

Father, thank you that you will help me persevere in following Jesus no matter what obstacles I face. Help me to not turn back, because I know you have a perfect plan that will come to pass in your good time.

By Julie Lairsey
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• Eternal Love
• Fully Surrender to the Lord

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“The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.’”  Jeremiah 31:3

God loves you with an everlasting, all-powerful love. His love is unconditional, unlimited, and extended to all people. The Bible describes a kind of love that goes far beyond what is considered humanly possible. The Hebrew word for everlasting in Jeremiah 31:3 is olam, which means “eternity” and is used to describe an unending time span.

When you read the prophet Jeremiah’s words about God’s love, you can be encouraged that it can bring hope and restoration to your darkest days. His everlasting love is incomprehensible, immeasurable, unconditional, and unchanging. C.S. Lewis stated, “Though our feelings come and go, God’s love for us does not.”

God demonstrated his love for us by sacrificing his Son in order for our sins to be forgiven. Sin was a barrier that stood between God and us. It had to be removed, and that is exactly what Jesus did. He was bound to the cross by love and crucified in order to grant all humankind the opportunity for forgiveness, mercy, and new, everlasting life. Jesus defined eternal life for us in John 17:3“Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.”

Take great comfort in knowing that God loves you with an everlasting love, and that his love forgives, protects, hopes, and rejoices in the truth. Be assured of his extravagant love and that he is always working in your life in love.

Heavenly Father, thank you for your great love for us. It makes a difference. Help me to lean into your love because you first loved us. I’m so grateful for your everlasting love and the amazing life you give us because of your love. Help me, Lord, to have fellowship with you so that the results of your presence become clearly visible to those around me. Amen.

Write down the ways God has shown he loves you so far this year. Ask him to reveal those ways to you, then be open to “hear” his response as things come to mind over the next few days.

By Julie Lairsey
used by Permission

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HE IS!  A great poem
God Demonstrates His Loves

Learn more about knowing Jesus at: https://thoughts-about-god.com/four-laws/


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