Category: <span>thoughts by Laura Rath</span>

Life often takes me to my knees.

Lately, however, I feel as if I’ve barely been able to stand up before it knocks me down again.

I’m learning though, that it is possible to not give up, but to stay low while I catch my breath. All the while, staying as close to God as possible. Fortunately, He’s not concerned with personal space, so He doesn’t mind if I cling to Him constantly and lean on Him hard. In fact, He encourages it!

I’ve been reminded that the Lord is fighting this battle.  It feels like it’s all on my shoulders, but I’m trying to let Him take the weight from me.

I imagine you might know what I’m talking about…when the weight of the battle feels like it will crush you. Lean in to Him with me. Let Him strengthen you and protect you. He is fighting the battle!

8 Scripture verses for when you need to remember He is fighting for you… 

Exodus 14:14 NLT

The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm. 

Deuteronomy 1:29-31 NIV

Then I said to you, “Do not be terrified; do not be afraid of them. The Lord your God, who is going before you, will fight for you, as he did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes, and in the wilderness. There you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place.”

Deuteronomy 20:3-4 NLT

He will say to them, ‘Listen to me, all you men of Israel! Do not be afraid as you go out to fight your enemies today! Do not lose heart or panic or tremble before them. For the Lord your God is going with you! He will fight for you against your enemies, and he will give you victory!

Deuteronomy 31:6 NIV

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Psalm 18:39 ESV

For you equipped me with strength for the battle; you made those who rise against me sink under me.

Isaiah 41:10 NLT

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.  Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.

Ephesians 6:11-13 NLT

Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.

Hebrews 13:6 ESV

So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”

What verse do you turn to when life feels like a battle?

By Laura Rath
Used by Permission

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Further Reading

Fight Back -by Mary Pinckney

Fight Like Jesus Fights by Jon Walker

This Day We Fight! – Devotional by Francis Frangipane


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thoughts by Laura Rath Thoughts by Women

Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God Psalm 43:5

A couple of weeks ago, before our recent snowfall, I looked out the window into our backyard. The grass was brown and the trees were bare. The bird feeder was empty and uninviting. (We fill it when the ground is covered with snow.)

It was a depressing scene, and yet I saw hope. In a few months the trees will have buds and the grass will turn green again. The birds will return to their nests and baby birds will learn to fly.

I know there is hope in the dead of winter because spring will come again. Every year. Without fail, the cold days will become warm again.

The weather seasons will change, but sometimes the seasons of life feel long and drawn out.

I can’t imagine what it’s like to go through life without knowing Jesus.

With Jesus, I know I’m not alone and that no matter how long winter seems to last, I know it will not go on forever.
Without winter, there would be no spring.

Without death, there would be no resurrection.

Without the valley, I wouldn’t see the mountain.

Without the hard days, I wouldn’t enjoy the good days.

Without chaos, I wouldn’t appreciate the quiet days.

Without Jesus, there would be no light to break through the darkness.

I don’t know what season of life you’re walking through, but I encourage you to not give up.

The calendar pages turn and the new life of spring will be here before we know it.

God is most certainly at work, whether we can see it or not. Life seasons change, often much slower or quicker than we would like. But in every season there is hope.

Because of Jesus, there is always hope. And hope changes everything.

By Laura Rath
Used by Permission

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Further Reading

HOPE – A Devotional by Gail Rodgers

A Poem of Hope – By Helena Fehr

The God of Hope – by Helen Lescheid

thoughts by Laura Rath Thoughts by Women

I was reminded today of the importance of a kind word.

A surprise hand-written note in the mailbox…with sweet encouragement…and a thank you. Completely unexpected—and deeply appreciated.

Just one way in which God works through us to reach others.

There is power in the words we speak. They can build up or they can tear down.

There have been so many destroying words in the past year. It’s time for more thoughtful, considerate, uplifting words.

Words that encourage.

Words that promote healing.

Words that show thanks and appreciation.

Words that reflect Jesus.

What if each day we showed kindness with the words we speak?

To our family and friends.

To our co-workers.

To the cashier and fellow shoppers.

To the stranger we cross paths with.

To those who inspire us and embolden us to make a difference in the world around us.

“Kind words are like honey—sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.”  Proverbs 16:24 ( NLT)

May we choose our words wisely.

By Laura Rath
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Further Reading

•  The Power of Kind Words – by Laura Rath

• Fast Of Words: A Different Kind of Fast – by Sylvia Gunter

•  Why is What I Say So Important? – by Dr. Henry Brandt


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thoughts by Laura Rath Thoughts by Women

I remember as a child waiting in anticipation for my birthday or for Christmas to arrive. Time moved slowly and the waiting dragged on forever.

As an adult, that time moves much more quickly. It seems like Christmas is around the corner again before last year’s gifts are put away. And waiting for birthdays isn’t quite as exciting anymore.

Waiting for the calendar page to turn—that’s not so hard. Until time ends, one month will flow into the next, guaranteed.

But waiting on God is hard. Some days it feels impossible. And other days it takes me right to my knees in tears and frustration.

Perhaps you’re waiting on God too…

…for physical healing.

…for employment.

…for a child to come home.

…for a relationship to be restored.

…for a loved one to come to faith.

Whatever it might be, there will be days when waiting on God is just too hard.

Days when I think I cannot do it one more day. I can’t wait patiently without worry and fear. And on those days, peace gets edged out. In its place are anxiousness, nausea, headaches, tears, depression, anger, and despair.

Despair that feels like hitting bottom, where there’s no place deeper to go—because with despair comes hopelessness.

Hopelessness covers the world in darkness, but not completely. Never completely.
Because the darkness can never extinguish the Light.

I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the dark.John 12:46 NLT

Jesus came into this world to show us the Light—His Light that never dims. It never goes out.

We may become blinded to it at times, but it’s there, shining like a beacon—a symbol of hope leading us back to Him.

For where there is Light, there is hope. Always hope.

On the days when the waiting feels like too much—there is hope.

Hope for a better tomorrow.

Hope that what we’re anticipating and waiting for is right around the corner.

Hope that soon God will reveal His plans for us.

Hope because God is in the wait with us—strengthening and comforting—bringing rest to the weary and calm to the panicked—picking us up when we hit the ground in despair.

Waiting for the seasons to change becomes methodical. Waiting on God never does.

We may not know what’s coming next, but God does. Our waiting and our future is in His hands.
His safe, strong, and more than capable hands.

By Laura Rath
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Further Reading

Waiting on God – How Do We wait? – Bible Study by Sylvia Gunter

• Prayerful Waiting– A Devotional by Max Lucado

•   The Waiting Side of Faith


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thoughts by Laura Rath Thoughts by Women

“Be angry, and do not sin. Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still.”  Psalm 4:4

Change. Sometimes you see it coming. Other times it is unexpected.

I’m experiencing change in a couple of different areas right now—one I’ve been preparing for. The other was sudden. Both will take some getting used to.

The sudden change has caused a range of emotions, but the one I’m not feeling is anger. I guess I could be angry. I could hold a grudge. But, it wouldn’t help the situation. And, I’m really not feeling angry, so why fabricate it?

I’ve been thinking about anger, though, because of some of the opinions expressed to me.

If I were you....”

You should….”

They were negative suggestions that could fuel the fire of anger, if there was a spark. But I didn’t accept the match. Instead, I just moved away.

I won’t wear someone else’s anger. If that’s the load someone chooses to carry, that’s their choice. But, when it’s forcefully shared with me, I don’t have to accept it. (I’ve learned that over the years.)

Reactions say a lot about us to other people. Some reactions touched my heart. Others made me want to run in the opposite direction. I don’t know what my reactions said, but I hope they were an example of optimism in this unanticipated change.

I hope my reaction to change reflects Christ, no matter how easy or difficult the next steps may be. When I say “I trust God,” I hope people see that I really do.

Anger is a normal human emotion, but it can be consuming, and it can blind us to the positive possibilities God can bring about through change.

I don’t want to miss those new opportunities. Do you?

By Laura Rath
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Further Reading

•  Dealing with Despair

•  Struggling with Depression 

•  Salvation Explained


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thoughts by Laura Rath Thoughts by Women

Roads. Some are short with a definite destination. Others are long and winding, with a scenic view.

Like me, you might find yourself on a road you didn’t know you were on, but when you look back you can see where it started and where it’s taken you, even if you still can’t see the end clearly.

And then there are the somewhat defined roads. You know where they start—the moment your life changed—but you don’t know where it ends. What you do know is you don’t like the look of the road. You stand at the threshold knowing it will be hard, physically, emotionally, and mentally, and there is no way around it.

Maybe that road is the diagnosis, unemployment, the end of a relationship, the loss of a loved one, or one of so many other defining moments that feel dark and depressing.

Instead of things that can be done, there are things that have to be done. Instead possibilities, life looks full of impossibilities.

And yet, we are not alone on this oppressive road. We have a traveling companion who has promised to never leave us despite the rocky, uphill climb. God promises to go before us, walk beside us, and follow behind us, giving us what we need along the way

Jesus is the Light that will break through the darkness.

Some days along the road are filled with a dark fog blocking the light. There is sadness and exhaustion. Bad news that causes us to grieve and wonder if the sun will shine again. But, no matter how hopeless we feel, the darkness can never extinguish the light of Jesus.

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12 NIV

When we can’t feel it, we have to know it—remember it—Jesus is the Light that shines through the darkness. When we can’t see the light, He’s still there, and the fog won’t block the light forever.

God is at work no matter what we can or can’t see.

Especially during difficult times, we have to remember that God is at work behind the scenes. Sometimes, He’ll give us a glimpse of what He’s working on, but often we just have to trust that His plans are good.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart;    do not depend on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5 NLT

It’s not easy to trust when we can’t understand why, or how, or when, but I’ve found that the more I try to trust Him, the more I want to trust Him, and with practice I don’t have to try as hard. Trusting Him feels comfortable and becomes more natural.

He is the One who holds us up when we can barely move on our own.

There will be days when we don’t want to get out of bed. If our feet don’t touch the floor, maybe we won’t have to face anything. It’s too hard to hold ourselves up, much less be there to support others. But, whether we stay in bed or trudge through the day, we are not alone.

Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ Isaiah 41:10 NASB

There have been many times when I reflected back on my day and didn’t know how I made it through. It was a blur of difficulty that I didn’t have the strength for.

The only answer was God.

I know He was holding me up when I could barely stand on my own. He was there in the hard conversations and the actions I didn’t want to take. He was there to pull me up when the feeling of hopelessness was too great.

No matter what the road ahead of us looks like, God is with us and He won’t leave us.  The days will be hard and some will feel as dark as night…but we are not alone and the sun will shine again.

Lord Jesus, we know that in this life we will have trouble, but You have promised to never leave us. You have promised us peace in the midst of the storms. May we believe Your promises are for us and cling to Your presence in our lives. Amen.

By Laura Rath
Used by Permission

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Further Reading

•   How to Spend a Day With the Lord

•   God’s Plan – A Study on God’s Destiny for Me?

•  Salvation Explained

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thoughts by Laura Rath Thoughts by Women

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.Ephesians 2:8-10

Grace. We can’t earn it.

We can’t bargain for it.

We can ask for grace, but the moment we think we deserve it, it is no longer grace. If we think grace is owed to us, then we’ve tried to earn it.

Grace is getting what we don’t deserve—God’s favor and kindness freely bestowed on us.

Mercy is not getting what we deserve—eternal death.

It is hard to fathom why God loves us with grace and mercy…but He does.

By Laura Rath
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Further Reading

•  Grace to Keep on Yielding

•  Extending Grace to Others

•  Salvation Explained

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thoughts by Laura Rath Thoughts by Women

I don’t know what you might be dealing with this week, but I know several people who are feeling under attack from the enemy.

“Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armour so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil”  Ephesians 6:10-11 NLT

Fortunately, we also have a Source of super strength—God. He provides what we need when we need it.

In the book of Ephesians, Paul reminds us of this. Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.

Not by our own might, but through God’s. God’s strength. God’s power. For us.

Put on all of God’s armour so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.

We don’t have to go to extreme measures and different sources to acquire the strength and weapons we need. God provides what we need to stand strong against the lies of the enemy. We just have to be willing to turn to Him, and ready to don the protection He offers.

Scripture spells out each piece of the armour God provides.

“Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armour so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armour of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Ephesians 6:13-17 NLT

Stand your ground against the enemy with:

The belt of truth – the truth of God’s Word and who God is. Knowing the truth helps us identify and see through the enemy’s lies.

The body armour of God’s righteousness – through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we are made right with God. Satan will try everything he can to make us believe nothing can make us right with God, and that is a lie. Nothing can undo what Jesus has already done for us.

Shoes of peace that comes from the Good News – reliable footwear is essential for all soldiers to advance and engage. For us to advance the Kingdom of God and engage in spiritual warfare, we wear the Good News of the victory of Jesus Christ over sin and death for all time. The Good News of Jesus gives us life and enables us to share this Good News wherever we are.

The shield of faith – our faith in Jesus Christ is the shield that protects us from everything the devil throws at us. The flaming arrows of Satan’s lies cannot penetrate strong faith that rests solely in our Lord—in His truth and righteousness.

The helmet of salvation – the knowledge of our salvation through Jesus Christ protects us from believing the lies of the devil.

And finally…

The sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God – our only offensive weapon against the evil of this world. The Holy Spirit, who lives in every believer, works for us and through us, enabling us to share the Word of God with others. One by one, building a strong offense against the enemy.

By Laura Rath
Used by Permission

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Further Reading

God is Holy….

The Lord is My Shepherd

•  Salvation Explained

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thoughts by Laura Rath Thoughts by Women

When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume youIsaiah 43:2 NLT

I’ve read this verse so many times, each time soaking in the comfort it provides. Yet, when I read it again recently, there was more.

There was still the comfort and reassurance I was seeking, but there was also the reminder to persevere.

As much as I’d like God to remove the obstacles and difficulties I’m facing, that doesn’t always happen. He does promise, though, to be there with me.

As I persevere through the deep waters of disappointment and discouragement, He walks through the waves with me.

As I persevere through life’s storms and the rivers of difficulty, He keeps me from drowning.

As I persevere through the flames of oppression, hardship, and suffering, He keeps me from burning.

As I persevere through daily difficulties and life’s hardest days, God is there, walking with me—making sure it doesn’t consume me.

His promise to you, and to me—
He will be with us every step of the way.
Guiding, guarding, and protecting.
Offering strength, comfort, and reassurance.
Today and all of our tomorrows.

We only have to look to Him, trust Him, and rely upon Him.

He will be by your side, and mine, as we persevere one day at a time.

When you face stormy seas I will be there with you with endurance and calm; you will not be engulfed in raging rivers. If it seems like you’re walking through fire with flames licking at your limbs, keep going; you won’t be burned. Isaiah 43:2 VOICE

By Laura Rath
Used by Permission

Do you have Jesus in your life to walk with you as you persevere through your storms? Would you like to have a relationship with Him? If you do,  you can start today by committing and submitting your life to him. It starts with a simple heart felt prayer:

Lord, thank You for dying so we can be set free from all of guilt and sin — no matter how big or small.  Your blood has erased all of our sin. Thank You so much! Lord Jesus, I want to know you personally. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life to you and ask you to come in as my Savior and Lord. Take control of my life. Thank you for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Make me the kind of person you want me to be. Amen

If you prayed this prayer we would love to hear from you . If you would like to know God deeper we can connect you with an email mentor and/or send you some great links.

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thoughts by Laura Rath Thoughts by Women

I don’t know anyone who particularly likes to wait. Waiting in line, waiting for a delivery, waiting for a repair person to arrive, waiting on our children and spouses…waiting can be tedious.

And waiting can be hard.

Especially when we’re waiting on God.

When we wait on God, we don’t know His timing, what the future will look like, or if our days will go the way we want them to.

We don’t get to see the full picture of our lives like God does. And yet, He tells us to wait and trust Him.

It’s not easy because waiting can feel like a waste of time. There’s a sense of loneliness as we watch others move ahead and we’re stuck behind…waiting.

But we are not left alone. As we wait, God promises to be with us. And God always keeps His promises.

“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” (Which means God with us.)  Isaiah 7:14 NIV

His very name is God with us. It’s Who He is.

God promised us a Savior and He kept His promise.

“But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.”  Luke 2:10-11 NIV

He is Immanuel. God with us.

While we wait and let God work, He does not walk away and He doesn’t leave us. Instead, He draws us close to Him and helps us wait.

He makes hope possible when we see no reason for hope.

He fills our hearts with joy that we can’t explain and won’t find anywhere else.

He renews our strength and energy when we have nothing left inside of us.

He gives us the ability to see His blessings in the midst of difficulties, and He brings peace to our lives where peace doesn’t make sense.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”  Romans 15:13 NIV

That’s God—helping us wait on Him.

Waiting can make us feel like we’re not doing anything, but we are doing something. We’re leaning in to Him, learning to trust Him on a deeper level.

Waiting is hard, but it is not time wasted.

Without waiting, we would miss out on the way He draws us close to Him and works in us to change our hearts.

Without waiting and trusting Him, we wouldn’t experience hope when we feel hopeless, joy in the midst of unhappiness, and peace that we can’t explain.

Not through anything we can do ourselves, but all because of Him.

Immanuel—God with us.

By Laura Rath
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Further Reading

A Poem of Hope

What a Friend we Have in Jesus

•  Salvation Explained

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thoughts by Laura Rath Thoughts by Women

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”  Hebrews 13:8 (NIV)

I don’t know anyone who loves change. Whether it’s sudden, like the loss of a job, or expected, like a child going away to college, change can be difficult, and adjusting to it takes time.

With change comes unknowns and what-ifs. What was normal no longer is, and a new normal has yet to settle in. That’s why I find this short verse reassuring: Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. When everything else in life can change in a moment, Jesus doesn’t change. He is our solid foundation in a world of upheaval and unknowns.

Despite whatever change we’re going through, Jesus will be there. Whether or not we reach out to Him is another story. We have the choice to rely on ourselves and our own abilities, but when change comes, it can rock our confidence and leave us anxious and unsettled.

When we rely on Jesus, He is a constant presence when nothing else makes sense. Change doesn’t surprise Him like it does us. It doesn’t mess up His schedule or shake His love for us.

Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. He stands firm, and when we keep our focus on Him, He is our lifeline. When we rely on Jesus, He brings peace that doesn’t come from ourselves.

When you’re facing transition and unexpected changes, keep your focus on Jesus—the One who doesn’t change. Rely on Him to get you through, and accept the peace He offers.

By Laura Rath
Used by Permission

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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 Laura Rath Thoughts by Women

The good news is—I can only do so much, but God can do So. Much. More.

Some situations feel like a never-ending circle. I go around and around never getting anywhere. But still, I feel like there must be something I can do. So, I keep trying. And I keep getting nowhere.

One situation has been going on for years. I’ve been praying. I’ve been searching Scripture. I’ve been having frank conversations with God, asking Him to show me what to do. I’ve wondered if I’m praying for the wrong outcome. And some days, I don’t even know what to pray for. I simply think Please help us Jesus over and over.

As a mom, I want to be able to fix this. I want to make it all better so we can all move forward. But, despite all of my research, trying different resources, and putting everything I have into it, it appears that I can’t. I’m left feeling frustrated and discouraged.

I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.John 16:33 (NLT)

Many trials and sorrows. Isn’t that the truth? Some go on for so long I start to wonder if there is any hope for change.

Some days I might be tempted to answer no. I can only do so much and if nothing I’ve done has worked by now, change looks like a slim chance.

The good news is—I can only do so much, but God can do So. Much. More.

I don’t know when and I don’t know how, but I know that He can. And He will. It may not look the way I expect, but that doesn’t mean He’s not at work.

Jesus overcame the world, so how could He not be able to handle this? Our situation feels huge to me. Overwhelming and heartbreaking at times. He knows that and He’s not insensitive to my feelings. Maybe that’s why Jesus reminds us that we can have peace through Him.

Though He warned us life would be far from easy, He promised us peace. Not because of anything we can do, but through Him.

Through Jesus, there is peace. We can take heart, be courageous, confident, undaunted, and filled with joy because Jesus has overcome the world.
John 16:33 (AMP)

If my hope rests on what I can do, I will be sorely disappointed. When my hope rests in Him, I feel comfort and peace.

Waiting on what God will do is not easy. But neither is waiting to see if I can come up with any workable solutions.

But, where waiting on myself makes me worried, afraid, and filled with anxiety, waiting on God allows me to breathe.

It’s a choice, and I choose to wait on God and let my hope rest in Him.

What do you choose?
Hold on to the
One Whose
Promises will never be

By Laura Rath
Used by Permission

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Further Reading

•   Good News for You

•   Hope for the Hopeless

•   A Poem of Hope

•   Salvation Explained

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thoughts by Laura Rath Thoughts by Women

God’s Word is full of life-giving promises to us.

I don’t know what your days look like right now. Perhaps life feels like it’s out of control and you’re praying for the strength to see your way through. Or maybe, everything is calm right now and you’re thankful for the time to catch your breath.

Whether you’re struggling and worn out, relaxed and feeling good, or anywhere in between, God’s Word is full of life-giving promises to us.

Here are a few I’m reminding myself of. Maybe you can use a reminder as well.

We are called to remember God’s promises…

You are His.

But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you.  O Israel, the one who formed you says, “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.  I have called you by name; you are mine.” Isaiah 43:1 NLT

Nothing is impossible for God.

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible. Matthew 19:26 NIV

His love for you is endless.

But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. Romans 5:8 NLT

He calls us to life.

Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” John 8:12 NLT

God forgives.

No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the Lord. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” Jeremiah 31:34 NIV

He sees us differently than the world does.

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 NLT

He walks with us.

The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV

God can be trusted.

Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Hebrews 10:23 NLT

God changes lives.

This same Good News that came to you is going out all over the world. It is bearing fruit everywhere by changing lives, just as it changed your lives from the day you first heard and understood the truth about God’s wonderful grace. Colossians 1:6 NLT

He is our hope and our strength.

Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.  Isaiah 40:30-31 NIV

He is our peace.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 NIV

By Laura Rath
Used by Permission

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Further Reading

•   Father God’s Intimate Love Letter to You

•   God is Faithful

•  Salvation Explained

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thoughts by Laura Rath Thoughts by Women

Tears and driving don’t mix, so I talked to God.  I need to lean into His strength…and His compassion.

I drove home the other day almost in tears. No reason really. Just. Life.

You know those days? You’re handling what comes your way without upset, taking the unexpected issues in stride, keeping up with the schedule, and then…you hit the point when you realize just how tired you are, physically, emotionally, even spiritually.

Yep, that was me. Tears and driving don’t mix, so I talked to God. And one word was His only answer.


It was His gentle reminder. Persevere is my One Word for this year, but I haven’t been thinking about it much. Just trying to do it.

Now I can’t stop thinking about it in very specific ways.

Persevere—through the tough days that string together for too long.

Persevere—in holding on to hope, when it seems others have given up.

Persevere—in following Jesus, especially when I know I’m under spiritual attack.

Persevere—when it feels like it would be easier to quit.

As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.”  James 5:11 (NIV)

In God’s reminder to persevere I felt comforted. And strengthened. I realized that it’s not enough to keep going on my own.

I need to lean into His strength…and His compassion.

By Laura Rath
Used by Permission

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Further Reading

•  Pressing On! – a lesson on focusing our eyes and goals on Christ

•  Practicing the presence of God

•  Salvation Explained

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thoughts by Laura Rath Thoughts by Women

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.” Ephesians 6:10-11 ESV

When I read Paul’s words to the church in Ephesus, I imagine him writing them with emphasis and conviction. Be strong in the Lord! Be strong in His mighty power! I wonder if that’s the way the Ephesians read it.   …..Or how we read it.

As I think of the weight behind these words, I keep thinking about David as he prepared to fight against Goliath.

“And David said, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” 1 Samuel 17:37 ESV

There is not an exclamation point at the end of David’s sentence, but can you hear the passion in his words? He was absolutely certain the Lord would deliver him, and from that assuredness, David’s strength came from the Lord…not from himself.

What if we were that confident in our daily battles?

Read Paul’s words again. Be strong in the Lord! Be strong in His mighty power!

Friends, we can be that confident! We have the same Source of strength David drew from—our Lord God.

We may not be facing a nine-foot Philistine dressed in bronze, but don’t some days feel like we are?

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12 ESV

David knew what he was up against. So do we. Satan isn’t as blatant as Goliath, but he’s more forceful…and he’s sneaky.

Fighting this battle will take God’s strength. God’s power. And God’s armor.

Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
Ephesians 6:13-17 ESV

God gives us armor to defend ourselves with and the Word of God to fight with…and like David, God’s strength to rely on.

Lord God, thank you for equipping us with the armor we need to fight against the enemy. Please strengthen us like you did David and guide us through our everyday battles. May we confidently rely on You and give You the glory in everything. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

By Laura Rath
Used by Permission

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Further Reading

Going Deeper with God

Stepping Into a Personal Revival

•  Salvation Explained

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thoughts by Laura Rath Thoughts by Women