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


“I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago” Psalm 77:11.


Like many people, my life has had its ups and downs, and there have been lingering seasons of uncertainty when I have not remembered God’s goodness in the past. Recently, I had been struggling with a dilemma and the Holy Spirit reminded me of how God had graciously provided the answer and clear direction in a similar situation. Sometimes, I have to look back, and be reminded of God’s incredible faithfulness and power, and see his gracious hand in every detail that has concerned me. Intentional remembering can grow our faith, lead to greater intimacy with God, and reshape our feelings in the present.

Throughout the scriptures, God reminds his children of his faithfulness. Zakar is a Hebrew word meaning “to remember.” In the minor prophet book of Amos, God reveals details to the children of Israel to reinforce his faithfulness. He reminds the Israelites that he conquered the Amorites, rescued them from Egypt, and gave them the promised land (Amos 2:9-12). These details set the example for how we should remember the many times God has shown up during our trials.

We are living in complicated times, and the daily news is filled with all kinds of problems facing the world but when we are anchored to remembering the good deeds of the Lord, we are able to change the way we see ourselves, and our situation. Ultimately, by focusing on God’s grace and remembering his goodness you will be strengthened to face the uncertainties and impossibilities of life. Spending quiet time with God to “zakar” God’s goodness will lead to inward heart transformation and fill you with hope.

Lord, I want to live a life that glorifies you. Help me to intentionally remember all the good things you have done in the past. Thank you for your promises that remind me of your goodness and help me to be thankful even in times of trouble. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

By Julie Lairsey
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Further Reading

• Anticipate God’s Goodness by Debbie West

God is GOOD by Katherine Kehler

God is Good—All the Time – by Helen Lescheid


thoughts by Julie Lairsey Thoughts by Women


“The Lord was with Joseph so that he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master. When his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord gave him success in everything he did.” Genesis 39:2-3


Most of us have experienced the painful ramifications of betrayal. Perhaps we were falsely accused, deceived by a good friend, or abandoned by a loved one. In the well-known Bible narrative about Joseph, we learn that he was struck by betrayal more than once. It’s hard to say what the lowest point of Joseph’s life was: the betrayal of his brothers throwing him in the pit; dipping his robe in goat’s blood to deceive Jacob, their father, into thinking Joseph was mauled by an animal, being sold into slavery, or spending time in prison. The Bible story about Joseph is one of deep darkness and betrayal; yet we continue to see the invisible, benevolent and gracious hand of God in every passage, and God’s favor was upon Joseph at every stage.

Joseph recognized God’s presence and continued to serve and remain faithful even as a slave; no matter the cost. Joseph’s circumstances were probably worse than any of us have experienced, yet God did not abandon him. Fifteenth century Christian author Thomas a Kempis, stated, “Wait for the Lord. Behave yourself manfully and be of good courage. Do not be faithless, but stay in your place and do not turn back.”

Many times we do not understand why we are going through difficulties and we think our impact is insignificant if we are not in a position of authority. Even as a slave, Joseph trusted God and remained faithful and served diligently, showing Potiphar that God was real.

As followers of Christ, let us honor God by living by these same principles so that others can see the difference that Jesus makes in our lives, regardless of our worldly status. Let others be drawn to the glorious message of eternal hope and salvation through Jesus Christ because of our conduct.

Dear Lord, help me to be faithful to you and to rise to the extraordinary plans you for me so that I can serve you wholeheartedly, thank you for for giving me grace and wisdom to resist bitterness in the midst of insurmountable trials, and show me how to remain faithful and serve you fully so that you will be glorified. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

By Julie Lairsey
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Further Reading

• Serving and Supporting – by John Grant

Serving the Lord Wholeheartedly  by Katherine Kehler

•  Walk it Out – A Devotional about Serving Others by Gail Rodgers


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thoughts by Julie Lairsey Thoughts by Women


One of my favorite aphorisms is, “the more you learn, the more you know you don’t know”.

Today, we have access to more knowledge than at any point in history, but one thing is missing from all the access to this information: great wisdom.

Despite advances in technology, high levels of education and instant communication, many people still lack spiritual wisdom.

Godly wisdom and understanding is achieved when we apply truths in the Bible to our daily lives.

The best place to start is in the book of Proverbs, which is often referred to as wisdom literature, and within this book are rich and practical instructions for life.

The primary way we gain godly wisdom is by learning God’s Word, meditating on the Lord’s commands and applying these principles to our everyday lives. We are reminded in Proverbs, God’s wisdom is reserved for those that heed his instructions and choose to apply his truths to their lives (Proverbs 8:33-34).

Throughout life, you will face difficult decisions that demand a wise solution. When faced with these circumstances, meditate on the Scriptures and pray. When you are committed to trusting God and obeying his Word, he will pour out his wisdom on you (Jeremiah 29:13).

You may not always have the answers, and may struggle to make the wisest choice, but you can be assured that

if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him” (James 1:5-6).

Several benefits of acquiring godly wisdom include: living a godly life, growing spiritually, finding your purpose, living peacefully and being an enormous light to a hurting world.

Pastor David Jeremiah once said, ”When the peace of God follows the purity of God’s wisdom in our hearts and lives, it will affect those around us.” When godly wisdom becomes part of our lifestyle, we become God’s vessels, building the kingdom of God and pointing others to God’s perfect counsel and his endless love.

Dear Lord, help me to pursue your wisdom and to obey you. Thank you for teaching me to respond according to biblical principles, and enabling me to become the person that you want me to be so that I can influence the world for your glory. In Jesus’s name, Amen.

By Julie Lairsey
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Further Reading

•  Wisdom and Knowledge of God

•  Ask For Wisdom

•  Salvation Explained


thoughts by Julie Lairsey Thoughts by Women

I will give you a new heart, and put a new spirit within you: I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put my Spirit within you and cause you to walk in my statutes, and you will keep my judgements and do them.” Ezekiel 36:26-27


Everybody likes new things, including God. He’s called the Ancient of Days but he says 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? (Isaiah 43:19). God begins his story with creating a new world, and he ends it with his plans to make a new heaven and earth.

Our Heavenly Father wants to do new things in the lives of his children. He wants to teach us new truths about himself and provide new opportunities for ministering and helping others. He desires to take us to higher levels of worship and deeper levels of trust.

In today’s passage, Ezekiel says the people of Israel will return to the Lord. He tells them that God will give them a new heart and put his Spirit within them.

How do we obtain a renewed spirit and a new heart? God provides the tools to keep our faith and spirit renewed. As we study Scripture and read devotionals, we learn that God’s Word is timeless. Reading and applying the Scriptures can give us a new understanding, fresh insight, and renewed strength.

Let us continue to, (as Paul said), Put on our new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (Ephesians 4:24).

Heavenly Father, help me to expect new things this year, and daily renew my spirit by reading the Bible and praying. Thank you for giving me a new heart and helping me to gain new understanding so that I may glorify you in all that I do! Amen.

Think about a time you put on something new, perhaps a piece of clothing you received as a present. It made you feel great, right? Special, different…in a good way. Let that remind you that God wants to dress you in a new heart and spirit as well.

By Julie Lairsey
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Further Reading

•  Squeaky Clean

•  Beauty out of Brokenness

•   What Happened to the Golden Rule?


thoughts by Julie Lairsey Thoughts by Women

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.:  Isaiah 43:2


I have a wonderful admiration for firefighters. Their acts of bravery, showing initiative and capability in their rescues is inspiring.

My dad was a courageous and heroic fireman; he willingly risked his own life to save others. My childhood memories are still very vivid and I keenly remember when my mom used to take me to Central Fire Station #1 for weekly visits while my dad was on duty. Sliding down the fireman pole, standing on the back of the bright red fire truck, playing with Sparky the Dalmatian and giving him his favorite treat out of the Chiclets gum machine. I can still smell the aroma of spaghetti in the firehouse kitchen while the firemen sat around the table, playing cards and reflecting on their day.

One incredible story my dad shared is when he rescued a woman who was wedged inside a burning house. The Christmas tree had caught on fire, and the home was completely engulfed in flames. Working for approximately 30 minutes to free the trapped woman, he ran out of oxygen. He was doubtful they would survive, but miraculously the Lord sustained them and they both made it out. He gives God the glory for delivering him though many treacherous situations.

The promise in today’s scripture still applies to us today. The prophet Isaiah penned these words to the nation of Israel to comfort and assure God’s people. All of us have experienced the “heat” of trials. It is through these places of fire that God has made some of his most faithful servants. Many great testimonies will include “while I was in the fire” in recounting how God refined them and that it was “in the fire” where God lifted them up. King Nebuchadnezzar had three Jews thrown into the fiery furnace for refusing to bow to an idol god. When he looked into the furnace, he saw four men “walking in the fire” (Daniel 3:19-25). “And the fourth man looked like the Son of God.”

Jordan St. Cyr, writer and singer of “Fires”, reminds us that we don’t have to be afraid. Through God’s unfailing love, endless mercy and compassion we can be victorious even when the smoke billows higher and higher. We will all have troubles, but Jesus will always walk through them with us.

Dear Lord, thank you for helping me walk through the fires even when I am afraid. Help me to rely upon your promises in the Bible during challenging times, and rest in the full assurance of your love. May you be glorified in all situations. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

By Julie Lairsey
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Further Reading

•   God Is…

•  More than a Father

•  Salvation Explained


thoughts by Julie Lairsey

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interest of the others.”  Philippians 2:3-4


Are you looking out for the interest of others? When was the last time you shared Christ’s message with a stranger? Time and time again people are open to having conversations about Christ simply because his humble followers cared enough to serve and share. You can make God’s love known to others by praying for them, comforting the grieving, encouraging those in their trials and tribulations, gently guiding the straying and simply just listening.

Jesus charged his disciples to preach the gospel to all people. His desire and heart is consistently revealed throughout the Bible. We are reminded of this great truth in 1 Timothy 2:4,

Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

Many times, we are hesitant to share the gospel because we feel inadequate, but those feelings are from the enemy. As you begin to share, the Holy Spirit will give you the words and the ability to be an effective witness for Jesus Christ (Colossians 3:17). Apart from the Holy Spirit, we have no power to influence people for Christ.

Be humble; allow yourself to be used and trust that God is working through you. Developing a genuine interest in others’ needs without any strings attached and remaining consistent. Your consistency will show others that your heart is in the right place and offer additional opportunities to share Christ’s love with others.

There are countless opportunities to exemplify the love of Jesus to others and to give a reason for the hope that is in you. Will you be his ambassador and seek the best for others today? As you do this, don’t be surprised if the Holy Spirit uses your heart of service to lead people to Jesus Christ.

Dear Lord, help me to seek what is best for others. Please forgive me when I do not take the time to share your love and biblical truths with others. I pray for your hand to guide me. Please give me the right words and specific opportunities to be an effective instrument for your glory. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Ask the Lord to show you who in your life you can humbly walk alongside. Pray that he would give you opportunities to connect with them, hear their story and share Christ’s love with them

By Julie Lairsey
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Further Reading

The Way of Love  I Corinthians 13

•  Random Acts of Kindness it is amazing how random acts of kindness affect those around you.

•  Salvation Explained


thoughts by Julie Lairsey Thoughts by Women

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth, but what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”  Ephesians 4:29


Just spit it out! We were playing a fun and high energy game, and our insightful granddaughter, B, was in the “hot seat”. She had to answer the question on the game card in rapid-fire fashion before the timer ran out in 5 seconds. With excitement, our daughter read the next question to B. “Name 3 people who help others.” Quickly, she shouted, “Mimi and Papa, they use Jesus words!”

Before I placed my eternal hope in Jesus Christ, I used to struggle with a bad temper which was rooted in sin and selfishness. Sin was affecting my relationship with others and separating me from God. My words and lack of patience claimed me as a victim, and I kept falling into its snare. I realized I needed to change and to be transformed by Jesus Christ alone.

I am incredibly grateful for the Lord’s endless mercies and how he answered my cries for help. After surrendering to the Holy Spirit, praying and reading the Scriptures, the Lord freed me from the bondage of sin and taught me how to use my words to speak life into others that would glorify him. I was transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit, and am constantly reminded of the promise in Proverbs 10:11 the words of the godly are a life-giving fountain.”

Christ allows us to be free from sin. Well-known, Billy Graham once said, “Sin is the great clogger, and the blood of Christ is the great cleanser.” You too, can experience the freedom in Christ by seeking him through prayer, reading and applying Scriptures, and being obedient in his ways in the power of the Spirit. By staying in right relationship with God by faith you will be changed by the Holy Spirit and experience growing freedom and righteousness in Christ.

Dear Jesus, please forgive me for the sin in my life. Help me to turn from temptation and fix my eyes on You. Thank you for setting me free from the bondage of sin. Use me, Lord, to bring glory to you and to use my words wisely. In Jesus’ name, amen.

By Julie Lairsey
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Further Reading

•  Pressing the RESET button on our lives 

•   Keeping Yourself in God’s Love – even during painful times in your life

•  Salvation Explained


thoughts by Julie Lairsey

Let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturityHebrews 6:1a.

Spiritual maturity does not happen instantaneously.

As Christians, we rely on the Lord to give us the power and the wisdom we need to make mature choices. Growing in the grace and knowledge of God requires dedicated time every day reading, studying, and meditating on God’s word, fellowshipping with believers, serving the body of Christ, praising him and most importantly praying, all in his Spirit’s power.

Growing in spiritual maturity will only take place when we have a desire to grow, which translates in spending time with God. We must actively practice what we learn through repetition and perseverance and develop the skills necessary to instill the word in our hearts. In 1 Timothy 4:7, we are exhorted to “train ourselves to be godly.”

I was recently reminded of a truth that Andy Stanley said. “Spiritual maturity is measured in terms of persevering faith, not perfect behavior.” Everyone has experienced spiritual maladies, and we must know how to overcome these issues with strength that is provided by the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 3:16).

Recently, I struggled with spiritual burnout. I was over-committed, had a lack of enthusiasm, and wanted to be left alone. I am so thankful the Lord knows our weaknesses and struggles.

During this season, through his gracious leading, God helped me overcome my situation as I read and meditated on the rich truths of Scripture. The time I spent with him in the Scriptures encouraged me and strengthened my resolve against the enemy. Revelation grew, my thinking was reshaped, and God provided the comfort and hope I needed. Throughout the process, I grew spiritually by persevering and leaning into God.

Dear Lord, thank you for helping me grow spiritually in my walk with you. Please give me the wisdom to make the right choices every day that will draw me closer to you and lead me to become a more mature believer. Amen.

How much do you trust the Holy Spirit day by day to deepen your faith and enable you to walk more obediently in his strength? What are ways that you can grow in this area?

By Julie Lairsey
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Further Reading

•  How to Have a ‘Quiet Time’ with God

•  Reading the Bible – Where to Start?

•  Salvation Explained


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thoughts by Julie Lairsey Thoughts by Women


“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
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FURTHER READING

HE IS!  A great poem
God Demonstrates His Love

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


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thoughts by Julie Lairsey Thoughts by Women

This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you; God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.”  1 John 1:5

As we journeyed on our boat ride through the spectacular winding rooms at Waitomo Caves in New Zealand, we were amazed with the abundance of glow worms that lit up the dark, damp and sheltered cave. The glowworms’ bio luminescent tails generated a beautiful bright light.

At that very moment, while floating along in the boat I began to ponder about the light of Christ in this otherwise dark world, and how Isaiah had prophesied that out of a darkened Galilee would come a great light for everyone (John 1:9). Christ would be the “light of the world”, the One in whom there is “no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5).

The scriptures tell us we are the light that Christ has sent to this dark world (Matthew 5:14). One of our tasks as Christians is to shine brightly so our Savior can be known to others and be glorified.
One of our tasks as Christians is to shine brightly so our Savior can be known to others and be glorified.

Are you a representation of God’s light in the world? Are you exposing the darkness through the truth and bearing fruit for his Kingdom? Today, let his mercy, grace and goodness overwhelm you, and allow God’s presence to fill you so others can see the light he provided the world.

Dear God, thank you for sending your son, Jesus Christ to save us from the darkness of sin. Help us to fathom how we can share your light to others in our world. May we be grateful for your presence and use the tools you gave us to represent you. Amen.

By Julie Lairsey
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Further Reading

•  Pressing the RESET button on our lives 

•   Keeping Yourself in God’s Love – even during painful times in your life

•  Salvation Explained


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thoughts by Julie Lairsey Thoughts by Women

God has an amazing vision for our lives to bring him glory, and to help, encourage and comfort others along the way!


He comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.2 Corinthians 1.4

When we are facing a crisis, one of the most comforting things we can hear from a friend is, “ I too, have experienced this, and I will pray and walk with you through this journey.” God’s plans are omniscient and he employs your trials by placing you in your community, church, office, or on a board of an organization at a time when you can comfort and encourage others through their troubles.

I have a very close friend who was diagnosed with one of the more aggressive varieties of cancer. When she shared her diagnosis with me, I asked her what I could pray for, and she said, “Please pray that I will share Jesus with everyone I meet.” Her answer deeply touched, inspired, and encouraged me. In light of this horrible diagnosis and obvious pain and suffering, my precious friend first and foremost wanted to share the hope of the gospel. Despite her situation, she had her sights clearly focused on Christ and her perspective was renewed by the reinvigorating promises of God.

Recently, I had trouble focusing and one day, while at the store, I decided to try on a pair of reading glasses. When I put one of the pair on, I could barely see. It is amazing how one set of lenses can help one person’s vision, and at the same time, make mine worse. We often look at life through different lenses, but is it imperative for Christians to look at their circumstances through the lens of Jesus. I am reminded of this in Chris Tomlin and Brandon Lake’s beautiful song, “I See You.”

Let’s look to God as the God who is the God of love and a God that is so faithful even during dark times. He has an amazing vision for our lives to bring him glory, and to help, encourage and comfort others along the way! All it takes, is to look at our lives through his lens and not our own.

Heavenly Father, by your Spirit, give us your perspective and vision to see the bigger story and to bring you glory. Thank you Lord, for comforting us in our troubles and give us the strength to help those who need comforting. In Jesus’ name, amen.

By Julie Lairsey
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Further Reading

•   Making a Difference

•  Caring Enough to Tell Others about Christ

•  Salvation Explained


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thoughts by Julie Lairsey Thoughts by Women

We all want the type of faith that releases the fullest blessings of God in our lives.


And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Hebrews 11:6

One of my favorite places to visit in all of Israel is the Valley of Elah – the place where David famously slayed Goliath. Despite the passing of time, not much has changed in the valley, except for a few archaeological sites, and my imagined version of the events on that victorious day. I was filled with a sense of overwhelming awe when my tour guide Benayah and I ventured down into the valley and he told me to look for 5 smooth stones; and then he asked me to reflect on the type of faith it takes to defeat giants in our own lives.

As I began to think about his question, I remembered how David went from shepherd boy to King of Israel, capturing Jerusalem, reuniting the nation and controlling an empire. David always looked towards the Lord; and from the anxieties he suffered, he developed faith and determination in Jehovah. His unwavering confidence in God were apparent to all.

Everyone has struggles in life; and these struggles test our faith. We all want the type of faith that releases the fullest blessings of God in our lives. How do we ensure the type of faith that pleases God?

When your faith is tested, reflect on how God has helped you in the past, acknowledge his power over the situation and trust him for the resources you need. Praise him in the trial and ask others to pray for you. Ask the Lord to increase your faith.

Today’s Bible verse provides a brief narrative of faith. It describes and explains how faith works in three simple steps. First, a humble dependence on God recognizes that he is the source of everything we need. Second, we approach him with an open heart because we recognize him as the sovereign Lord over all; third, we trust God to keep his word. Together, these three simple steps represent the type of faith that pleases the Lord.

We all have the opportunity to be a hero of faith that someone looks up to. A. W, Tozer stated,

We can be in our day what the heroes of faith were in their day – but remember at that time they didn’t know they were heroes.

Even when our circumstances do not change, we can have a faith like David’s. We can face our giants with faith because God is on our side!

Heavenly Father, thank you for increasing my faith and helping me to see the specific ways you have revealed yourself to me. I praise you that you know all things perfectly and that I can trust the unknown to you. In Jesus’s blessed name I pray, Amen.

Today invite God to daily increase your ability to depend on him for everything, approach him full-heartedly, and trust him to keep his promises.

By Julie Lairsey
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Further Reading

•  A Bible Study on Waiting on God

•   Hailing the Chief

•  Salvation Explained


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thoughts by Julie Lairsey Thoughts by Women

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
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Further Reading

•  Studies and Lessons
•  Angels and Miracles
•  Salvation Explained


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thoughts by Julie Lairsey Thoughts by Women

“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
Used by Permission

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Further Reading

•   God Is…

•  The Powerful Reality by Ruth Calkin

•  Salvation Explained


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thoughts by Julie Lairsey Thoughts by Women


“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
Used by Permission

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Further Reading

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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thoughts by Julie Lairsey Thoughts by Women