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


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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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
Used by Permission

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Further Reading

A Poem of Hope

What a Friend we Have in Jesus

•  Salvation Explained


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“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
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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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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
Empty.

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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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
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Further Reading

•   Father God’s Intimate Love Letter to You

•   God is Faithful

•  Salvation Explained


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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.

Persevere.

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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“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
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Further Reading

Going Deeper with God

Stepping Into a Personal Revival

•  Salvation Explained


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“I will praise you every day; yes, I will praise you forever.”  Psalm 145:2 NLT

Several years ago, my word for the year was Praise. To be honest, I wasn’t thrilled about the word when the year started. Praise felt like a really big word for when really big things happened—which wasn’t every day. So, what was I supposed to do with the word the rest of the year?

What I learned first is that Praise isn’t supposed to be saved for only the really big events or even what is visible to others.

Praise is meant for every day—the little, the ordinary, and what others might not be able to see.

Praise is when we honor God by acknowledging Him in everything we do. It’s looking for Him and His work, no matter if it’s a good day or a rotten day. Praise is thanking God in all situations, even when we don’t feel thankful.

Praise when I don’t feel thankful? Yes, because sometimes we have to practice giving praise before it feels natural.

For I cried out to him for help, praising him as I spoke.” Psalm 66:17 NLT

Our human nature doesn’t lead us to feel thankful when we’re walking in the valley, but that’s precisely when God can do His best work in us. The hard work of changing our hearts and bringing us closer to Him. And creating a desire in us to want to be closer to Him.

The next thing I learned about Praise is that it’s not just for after something happens.

Praise is also meant to be given before we see His work.

How do I know what to praise Him for if it hasn’t happened yet? Because God is always at work, even when we can’t see it or imagine what He might be working on.

Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me.” Psalm 103:2 NLT

Praise Him for being who He is—our God and Savior who doesn’t change on a whim. He doesn’t change the rules. And His love for us doesn’t change because He’s having a bad day.

Praise Him because no matter what we’re going through, we can be sure He’s walking beside us. He leads the way before us and watches over us. Sometimes He stays quiet, but we can trust that He’s there.

In those times I desperately need to feel His presence, I ask Him to let me see Him. And then I look for Him even in the slightest way. It might be in in new flower buds, the lyrics of a song, an unexpected phone call or text from a friend, or in the way my day turns around through no power of my own.

My heart is confident in you, O God; my heart is confident. No wonder I can sing your praises!”  Psalm 57:7 NLT

That year, I learned to praise God for His presence, for His love and compassion, and because no matter what I regret doing today, tomorrow is a brand new start.

Praise Him because when we look for Him, we will see Him. And the more we see Him, the more we will look for Him.

By Laura Rath
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Further Reading

•   The Power of Prayer & Praise
•   The Supernatural Power of Praise
•  Salvation Explained

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A few nights ago, I had to comfort our cat, Raven, during a thunderstorm. She’s not usually affected by the weather, but something had her scared. So I held her and talked to her. I made a blanket tent for her to sleep under and sat with her until she felt brave enough to burrow under the blankets.

Once she was calmer and safely tucked under her tent, I went to bed. But before I fell asleep, I thought about her need for comfort and how we’re not much different in this respect.

Aren’t there times we all need to feel safe and to be reminded that we’re going to be okay?

Maybe it’s not a thunderstorm, but a situation that makes life feel out of control.

The diagnosis.

A relationship that’s falling apart.

Sadness and grief.

Financial struggles.

Or so many other possibilities.

Sometimes God will change what’s going on around us, but often He will provide comfort for what’s going on inside of us instead.

He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.”    Corinthians 1:4 NLT

Because He comforts us first, we are able to comfort others.

We may not be able to change someone’s circumstances, but we can be there just to sit and let her know she’s not alone.

I couldn’t stop the thunderstorm, but I could comfort Raven when she was afraid.

I couldn’t stop my mom’s cancer last year, but I could sit with her in her pain so she didn’t feel alone.

So many things we can’t control, but we can be there.

Even when we can’t understand the situation or the pain, just being present can often be enough. It validates another person’s emotions. It says, “You don’t have to walk through this alone.”

And perhaps, as God works through us, it even shines some light into the dark places in our lives.

By Laura Rath
Used by Permission

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FURTHER READING

•  Broken but Made Beautiful
•  Beauty out of Brokenness

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To act bravely is to meet or face something with courage; to act with courage is to make the choice to proceed with confidence, despite fear, adversity, intimidation, or feeling uncomfortable or judged.

Being brave doesn’t mean the threat is gone, it means we don’t let it stop us.

Having courage doesn’t mean the next step will be easy, it means we move forward anyway.

Following Jesus means we can draw from His unending strength and courage, and not try to rely on the amount of courage we can muster up ourselves.

When God told Joshua to be strong and courageous as he led the Israelites, He planned for Joshua to rely on Him. If Joshua had decided that he was brave enough without God, the Israelites never would have made it to the Promised Land.

Joshua was brave because He trusted God.

Just like Joshua, God makes us brave not because of who we are, but because of who He is.

6 Scripture Verses for When You Need to Be Brave

Joshua 1:9 NIV

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Deuteronomy 31:6 NLT

So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.”

Psalm 27:13-14 NLT

Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living. Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.

Psalm 31:24 VOICE

Be strong, and live courageously, all of you who set your hope in the Eternal!

Daniel 10:18-19 MEV

Then again, the one having the appearance of a man came and touched me, and he strengthened me. He said, “O man, greatly beloved, do not fear. Peace be unto you. Be strong and courageous!” When he spoke to me, I was strengthened and said, “Let my lord speak, for you have strengthened me.”

2 Chronicles 15:7 NLT

But as for you, be strong and courageous, for your work will be rewarded.”

By Laura Rath
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Jesus is Always There!
God, Our Shield

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I’ve been thinking a lot about trust and waiting on God…about how His answers to prayers often come in ways I didn’t expect or ask for, and how sometimes He answers long after the time frame I’ve requested.

When I’m in one of life’s valleys, I have to cling to my faith and trust in God.

I have to hold tight to what I know to be true.

God hears me. He sees me. He is with me. And He is carrying me through the trials when I can’t even see the next step to take.

“The Lord has heard my plea; The Lord will answer my prayer.Psalm 6:9 NLT

In God’s perfect timing, I opened my Bible to this verse today. It’s what I’ve been reminding myself of over and over lately.

I need to praise God first, before I can see answers to my prayers, because I know that He is at work.

The solutions I think of may not be how God answers my prayers. I have to ask myself—will I only see His hand if it’s in the way I’m looking for? Or will I let go of my ideas and wait to see God’s plan unfold?

While I’m waiting, God is still with me. He strengthens me when I’m at my weakest. He guides me when I can’t see straight. He reminds me that He is at work when I start to panic. Again.

Trusting God isn’t easy. Trust develops over time.

As I walk through the desert, I learn to lean on Him more and to look for His presence every day. When the desert stretches on for what seems like way too long, my trust in Him grows stronger. It grows deeper and keeps me grounded.

Trusting God with my heart, soul, and mind gives me strength and peace that does not come from myself.  He calms my fears in ways I can’t achieve on my own.

Faith and trust in God doesn’t mean smooth sailing through life. It means I don’t have to try to navigate on my own. It means I don’t have to have it all figured out. And it means it’s okay when my plans don’t work out, because I realized it was better to go with whatever God has planned.

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 you.” Isaiah 43:2 NLT

God’s promise to you and to me…He will be with us. No matter what we walk though. No matter what we’ve done.

When we believe God’s promises are for us, we know the Truth we can depend on.

Truth that stands the test of time.

By Laura Rath
Used by Permission


Would you like to have a relationship with Christ? If you want to know Him  you can start today by committing and submitting your life to him. You can start this with a simple 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 today and asked Jesus Christ to come into your life and take control, we would love to hear from you. Some helpful internet links will be sent to you and we can also connect you with an email mentor if you’d like that. Your choice. But we’d still love to hear from you.


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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FURTHER READING

• Eternal Love
• Fully Surrender to the Lord

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Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”  Psalm 46:10 ESV

I woke up this morning with this verse going through my mind.

I wonder if sometimes we breeze over this verse. Be still, and know that I am God. In our world today, be still makes us think of doing nothing, but ‘doing nothing’ hardly seems accurate here.

The Hebrew word raphah (raw-faw‘) means to release or let go; refrain from or let alone;  to relax or wait for.  Making yourself ‘let go’ of something is hardly doing nothing. Letting go can be hard work.

Children often struggle against their parents, thinking they know what’s best and wanting to do everything themselves. As a parent, I remember all the times I wanted to cry out, “Stop struggling! Let me help you!” Or when I explained, “I know you don’t agree or understand, but you just have to trust me on this.”

Don’t we do the same as adults? We want what we want, and we want it now! We want to understand. We ask When? Why? and How?

I imagine if we stopped struggling and trying to comprehend everything, we might hear Him say, Stop striving and worrying. Let Me be God. I know you don’t understand why or how…you just have to trust Me with this.

It’s not easy, but it is freeing. God is on His throne, no matter what happens, personally or nationally. And for that, I am forever thankful.

Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth.
Serve the Lord with gladness and delight;
Come before His presence with joyful singing.
Know and fully recognize with gratitude that the Lord Himself is God;
It is He who has made us, not we ourselves [and we are His].
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter His gates with a song of thanksgiving
And His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, bless and praise His name.
For the Lord is good;
His mercy and loving kindness are everlasting,
His faithfulness [endures] to all generations.
Psalm 100 AMP

Dear Father in Heaven, thank you for your everlasting love, truth, and mercy. Please help us to remember that no matter what happens, You are in control. You are on Your throne. May we learn to be still, let go of all we’re struggling to hold on to and worrying about, and let You be God. In Jesus’ sweet name we pray, Amen.

By Laura Rath
Used by Permission

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FURTHER READING

•   A Bible Study on Waiting on God
My Search for Inner Peace – by Eva Reinhart

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I was so angry last week I wanted to yell. But…with yelling usually comes saying things I shouldn’t. (I kind of know this from experience.) So, before I went huffing and puffing into the next room, I prayed.

I asked God to hold my tongue and not let me say what I was thinking. And then I asked Him to help me calm down and diffuse the emotions that were overcoming me.

I didn’t always know to do this, to ask God to keep me from speaking. And even though I know it now, I still don’t always want to pray first because it means thinking first and speaking second.

Or maybe not speaking at all.

A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.” Proverbs15:1 NLT

My words were going to be harsh. Anger does that. It makes us act in ugly ways. But, we can learn to control it…if we want to.

God created us with emotions, and anger is a human emotion. It’s not a sin to be angry, but how we act while angry can be sinful.

Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.Ephesians4:26-27 ESV

Acting and speaking out of anger fuels the fire in a disagreement. It keeps it going back and forth, and no one wins. Except the enemy. Satan loves it when we give him an easy way in, and uncontrolled anger is an open door.

Whatever I was angry about last week was not worth it. I stayed where I was until I felt calmer. I was still angry, but not like I had been. I believe God answered my prayer by keeping me still and my voice silent. It’s a prayer I’m trying to pray more often.

A fool is quick-tempered, but a wise person stays calm when insulted.” Proverbs12:16 NLT

By Laura Rath
Used by Permission

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Disappointment, discouragement, fear, daily struggles…some days take everything we have.

When we rely only on our own strength and what we have to give, we quickly become worn out and discouraged.

But when we turn to God for His strength and replenishment, we are able to keep moving forward. We are able to keep giving to our family and friends. We are able to keep hoping, not because of what we can see, but because of Who we know God is.

Psalm 105:4 NLT
Search for the Lord and for his strength; continually seek him.
God’s strength is available to us when we seek His presence in our daily lives.

Isaiah 58:11 NLT
The Lord will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring.”
God supplies the living water we need. When I get busy and don’t make time to spend with God and in His Word, I find myself parched and desperately in need of His restoring and strengthening. But, when I sit and rest with Him I feel nourished. He guides and gives strength, but if we don’t pay attention, we can miss it.

Psalm 46:1 NIV
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”
God, in all His power, is with us ready to protect and save. He strengthens us day-by-day to withstand trouble, to wait, and to persevere.

Philippians 4:13 CEV
Christ gives me the strength to face anything.
Whatever comes our way, whatever God calls us to do, we can handle it because Christ empowers us through His strength.

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.

No matter what we face, God promises to be with us. He offers us comfort, reassurance, encouragement, and His support. Is there anything better?

By Laura Rath
Used by Permission

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A few weeks ago, fear crept in and wanted control of my days. Maybe you know the feeling—when you realize you’re worried about how-will-I and all the what-ifs for today, tomorrow, and 10 years from now.

Fear of the unknown and how-will-this-work-out is formidable. It has the power to affect everything from our moods and how we treat our families, to the decisions we make.

Fortunately, I realized it quickly…well, after an email chat with a friend who pointed it out. Then, it was suddenly clear. Fear for tomorrow (and all the tomorrows after that) was manipulating me in unproductive ways.

As soon as I knew fear had a grip on me, I turned to God. I reminded myself that God goes before me. Things will often get harder before they get better, but I know if He leads me down a rugged path, He will be there to help me.

As I felt my anxiety start to ease, I turned to Scripture. I reread my favorite verses that calm me down, and I searched for verses on fear that I was less familiar with.

I don’t always know which verse will make my heart sigh with relief, but God does. He knows what I need to hear and precisely when I need to hear it.

And sometimes, I just need to be reminded of His calming presence…

At once, Jesus said to them, “Don’t worry! I am Jesus. Don’t be afraid.”
Matthew14:27 CEV

Here are 8 more Scripture verses to turn to when fear starts to creep in.

Psalm 56:3 NLT {Trust}
“But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in you.”

Isaiah 41:10 NLT {Strength}
“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.”

Deuteronomy 31:8 NLT{Not alone}
Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.”

Daniel 10:19 NLT {Strength}
Don’t be afraid,” he said, “for you are very precious to God. Peace! Be encouraged! Be strong!” As he spoke these words to me, I suddenly felt stronger and said to him, “Please speak to me, my lord, for you have strengthened me.”

John 14:26-27 CEV {Peace}
But the Holy Spirit will come and help you, because the Father will send the Spirit to take my place. The Spirit will teach you everything and will remind you of what I said while I was with you. I give you peace, the kind of peace that only I can give. It isn’t like the peace that this world can give. So don’t be worried or afraid.”

Psalm 23:4 NLT {Comfort}
Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.”

Joshua 1:9 NLT {Not Alone}
This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Acts 2:25-26 CEV {Hope}
What David said are really the words of Jesus, “I always see the Lord near me, and I will not be afraid with him at my right side. Because of this, my heart will be glad, my words will be joyful, and I will live in hope.”

What Scripture verses do you turn to when you find yourself feeling afraid?

By Laura Rath
Used by Permission


If you have never surrendered your life to Christ, and would like to know Him in the way the author does,  you can start today. Simply say this prayer and your journey with Christ will begin:

Prayer

Lord Jesus, I want to trust you from now on. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive You as my Savior and Lord. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Take control of my life. Make me be the person You want me to be. Thank you for enabling me to trust you in these uncertain times. Amen.

Another Sample Prayer:

Dear God, today I bring you my life, my hopes, my dreams, my deepest yearnings … You know me intimately. You knew me even before I was formed in the womb. You called me into this world to do good and live the life I was uniquely and specifically created for. I ask for Courage and Wisdom to live this life–the life of my dreams. Show me where to start and help me be open to hearing your Voice today. I ask for a greater consciousness of your Presence, today and every day of my life. 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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