1 & 2 Thessalonians: Day 3

You Are Our Glory and Joy

by

Today's Text: 1 Thessalonians 2:1-20, 1 Corinthians 9:3-14, Hebrews 4:12

Scripture Reading: 1 Thessalonians 2:1-20, 1 Corinthians 9:3-14, Hebrews 4:12

I send more emails every day than I can count, but there’s one that brings me an inordinate amount of joy. It’s not work-related, requires many pop culture references, and has low standards for correct grammar. Any questions as to why it’s my favorite?

You see, a few years ago, I was sitting at my desk at a new job when an email popped up from a name I recognized, yet hadn’t talked to in quite some time. “LONG LOST FRIEND” was in the subject line, and the unnecessary capitalization has become our own kind of necessary in the hundreds of emails that have been sent and received since.

What started out as a lighthearted attempt for two girlfriends to catch up over lunch breaks and between meetings became a regular rhythm in my day, and eventually, the sweetest lifeline. This email chain connected two very different lives: one single and dating, and the other newly married; one in Tennessee and the other in Mississippi. But despite our different seasons of life, both of us needed encouragement, typed-out prayers, and echoes of “me too” in ways we couldn’t before describe.

Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians puts words to why the silly emails between my friend and me aren’t so silly after all: God created our lives to be shared. When the Thessalonians read Paul’s words for the first time, I like to imagine them getting the same silly grin I do when an email pops up from my modern-day pen pal. Paul was their guy! He understood them! Thessalonica was going through their own share of suffering and affliction, but this letter was filled with gospel truths—the motivation they needed to help them endure.

Paul’s letter illustrates that being a family of faith involves knowing and being known. His writing assumes a prior two-way relationship, one that repeats phrases like “for you yourselves know” and “as you know.” Closeness in community is vital for any gospel-centered relationship—in ministry, in suffering, and everything in between. But this closeness is not merely circumstantial or emotional; it is rooted in truth and grown in grace.

One of the best ways to receive and offer encouragement in community is through God’s Word. Paul knew the importance of communicating the truth about Jesus, mentioning Him by name in every single chapter of 1 Thessalonians. As sisters in Christ, we too ought to permanently carry the gospel of hope on our tongues.

God gives us pieces of His own love when He gives us friendship with one another. Whether with a faraway friend via email or a coworker over coffee, we get to witness redemption, encourage growth, and partake in God’s goodness when we share with others “not only the gospel of God but also our own lives” (1 Thessalonians 2:8). Thanks be to God.

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  • Elizabeth Alyse

    It is so hard to find a solid community even in a successful church. I love this study but sometimes I wish I could meet everyone in person!

  • Sherry Watkins

    We don’t have any community really here at our new duty station, it has been hard and I feel very lonely, unloved and unseen. My depression has been worse than ever and even though we live in the states now we are still very far from family

    • Jessica Wayer

      Hey Sherry! This is Jessica and I am apart of Upward Church Online! I just wanted to reach out to you and love on you a bit because I know how it feels to be lonely. We too are also far away from family. I’d love to connect with you through our online campus. We have a true family of friends and an awesome support staff to help you get connected and help you not feel lonely by plugging you in to groups of people. I want to give you my email. Please reach out to me because I’d love to pray for you and get to know you. [email protected]

  • Sarah Robbins

    I really appreciated this devotional. I feel that sometimes it’s easy to feel lonely even among other believers if the relationships don’t resemble true Christian fellowship, but are rather a shallow, surface-level friendship. It’s a blessing to be able to share deeply with those who are of like mind in the Lord, but it does require two people who are willing to do that with each other.

  • Traci Brocklehurst

    Lord, may we have words of life and truth for everyone around us. May we motivate our faith family and “permanently carry the gospel of hope on our tongues”. Amen.

  • Lindsey Bailey

    I am reading this devotional because I can’t sleep. I can’t sleep because I was just woken abruptly from a deep sleep by neighbors knocking on our bedroom window at 12:45am on a week night. My heart is still heavy and can’t quiet. We live in the country, so when I say neighbor, I mean the family living in the house just beyond the 100 acre field and the other neighbor who lives just on the other side of the pond. Two police cars and an ambulance raced down an otherwise quiet dirt road. There was a drowning in the pond just beyond our home. Two men fishing tragically never came home. My neighbors seeing the police cars and hearing the sirens were searching for us frantically praying it wasn’t our young children in the accident. Our phones were full of missed calls and texts messages pleading to tell them we were ok. And finally in a last desperate attempt they knocked on our bedroom window. This is community. Neighbors looking out for one another. Friendship that has formed because we are logistically close to one another, but more than that it has progressed through birthday parties, borrowing flour and eggs and visiting with meals during times of sickness. Community is all around us and in so many ways. They communicated God’s love to our family tonight through there deep concern. We share pieces of God’s love in the many types of relationships God, brings into our lives.

  • Natasha Smith

    *dear friend. Wishing I would learn to proof read before sending… haha

  • Natasha Smith

    Since the birth of my second child, I have felt extremely disconnected from our church family and friends. I long to feel know and feel known by a dead friend, but it’s been hard. I feel like I’m experiencing life behind a thin veil of smoke and can’t quite understand others or they just don’t seem to understand me. I am sure one day soon I will understand what this season has been trying to teach me. Ladies, I am praying for you all. Lord, provide us all with a dear friend that can help speak your truths into our lives every day — someone who gets it. Most of all, thank you God for knowing us intimately. For caring about the longings of our hearts and creating us in your image. Thank you, God, the friend that is in Jesus Christ. Stir our affections for you this week.

    • Hannah Emmert

      Our church family mainly consists of elderly people. My husband is the youth pastor, and we are the only young people that attend that are our age. I am pregnant with our first and I feel your pain. I will be praying for you Natasha! I will pray that the peace of the Lord is overwhelming to your heart this week and that you can sing in thanksgiving “What a friend we have in Jesus!”❤️

  • Aileen Brigman

    Awww..I too need a Christian fiend to share God’s goodness. We need one another during the happy and sad times.. I’ve committed to reading the Bible on a daily basis and this is my 3rd day. I’m so excited to read all the replies, old and new. My email is [email protected]..looking for to building true friendships!

  • Arianna Rodriguez

    I would love to connect with you lovely ladies. My email is [email protected]. I look forward to meeting you all and talk about Jesus, encouragement, hope and life.

  • Brittany BarlowSanchez

    This was such a beautiful reminder. Community has filled my soul with such love over the past few years. We’ve lived away from family and friends as my husband has been in school and often times we feel such loneliness, but there are people that God places in our lives constantly that help fill the void.

  • Abigail McCormack

    And this has been just the devotional I was waiting for. If anyone wants to email, I’d love to chat. [email protected] :)

  • Abigail McCormack

    I have been praying for a close Christian friend lately. It has been a very dark and trying season of my marriage and life and this has been

  • Sarah Riddlebarger

    I’ve often found that God has brought me some of the sweetest, most treasured friendships in the darkest times of my life when I really needed that encouragement. I’d really love to invite others in and be invited in to encourage y’all too :). My email is [email protected]!

  • To be honest, this devotional was hard to read and touched on a sore spot. I don’t have friends who keep in touch this way. My friends have literally ditched me. The people at my church don’t ask me to coffee. They only invite me to life group after life group. The church is forgetting to connect on a relational level. It’s hard to seek people out who want friendship b/c no one has time for it anymore. I just needed to be honest. This post touched a vulnerable part of me b/c I finally let someone go in my heart so I don’t need to hear this.

    • Christi

      It is hard to find those people, I know. I moved to a new state last year, and it has taken me a while to build those special relationships that encourage and exhort one another. Most of my closest confidantes still live back in my hometown, and I work to maintain those needed friendships. Don’t be afraid to seek out someone who may appear to need the encouragement and sisterhood more than you do; it’s amazing how contagious compassion and understanding is on both the giving and receiving sides. Sorry for the loneliness you are going through; it is a terrible feeling, I know.

    • Sam Burke

      Hi Samantha! I am deeply saddened that you feel like that in a church and I pray that you are comforted in the fact that not every church is made for every person. Have you tried seeking out a new church? It’s almost like finding a new car – you want to make sure you find the right fit because you are going to be investing in this for a while but want to be comfortable in it :)
      I’ve had to switch churches before due to the same thing and I am SO glad that I did!

  • Wanting to jump in on that email train! [email protected]

  • Robin NHendrich

    Such a sweet reminder that our friendships and communities are created by God and should be enjoyed!

  • This devotion really resonated with me today. I’m currently studying abroad, and one of my friends from back home and I have started an email chain – Virtual Coffee Dates. I always get the biggest smile on my face when I see a new email from her, and being encouraged by and encouraging her is so life-giving. I had never thought of comparing email conversations to Paul’s letters, but it makes so much sense. You can just sense the closeness of their relationship and Paul is practically bursting with love and affection for his friends.

  • Lindsey Abercrombie

    Hi all!! My email is [email protected] I would love to start a chain with someone in this beautiful community! God Bless!❤️❤️❤️

  • Erica Askren

    Hi friends. I’m Erica and my email address is [email protected]. Sarah Tolhurst, since you’re and Outlook user too, I’m emailing you first! :-)

  • Kirsty Crowe

    Hello ! My email is [email protected] if anyone would like to message me & talk of all things Jesus, encouragement & hope ♥️

  • Julie Waldvogel

    I do love connecting with christian women from all over! My email is [email protected]! I do love getting emails..and sending them.

  • Oh this makes me smile, my friend and I have done the same thing for about 10 years now. And share God’s love and encouragement with each other almost daily.

  • Lauren Gilland

    [email protected]

    Send me some encouraging verses ❤️❤️
    (You will get some in return ☺️)

  • This resonated with me a lot. I’m in a season of a new place, new people but can’t really seem to find people for fellowship and encouragement. It’s hard to do life by yourself or to feel like you’re by yourself. I am forever grateful that God never leaves me to be on my own but I do need to make more effort in finding others to help.

    • Sabrina Klomp

      I feel like I’m in the same place, Bridget. It’s so hard feeling alone– praying for rich community for both of us!

      • Trusting

        Your words resonate with me. My heart desires so much to find a friend and someone to connect to. Loneliness has been extremely hard and in this season I wonder what is God trying to teach me. But the scripture provides me comfort and hope.

  • Lord, send me a friend.

    • songbird

      What a courageous prayer. I trust the Lord will not only hear it but bring you one. God is like that. Dear sister, have your circumstances changed recently? Or those of them around you? This can suddenly rend one lonely…

    • Shelby

      Cori, I have asked and prayed this prayer for a while. I can be a pen pal! Here’s my email, we can get in touch and start there.

      [email protected]

  • This was difficult for me to read. I’ve been struggling with loneliness and lack of community for about 4 years, and within the last year, my closest friend has abandoned both me and her faith. The feeling of being so socially downtrodden and betrayed has made it difficult to connect with new acquaintances, although I want to so desperately.

    • Vardine Adamyan

      Hello Cori ,

      If you ever need someone to talk to you. I am always here to lend an ear :)

      Here is my email [email protected]

    • songbird

      Sorry, I had only read your last post. I’m so sorry to hear and I feel for you. Some places are harder to find community in and losing a friend can be so hard. I do believe there will be change again though. You will meet new friends, find community in unexpected places. Praying for you x

    • Kailee BouldinTidball

      It was difficult for me as well, Cori. My husband and I have been married 7 years and it’s been 8 years since I moved to this area. I haven’t had a close friend the entire I’ve lived here. Staying home with 3 kids every day makes me desperate for someone to talk to, encourage and encourage me in return. Praying for both of us to find kindred spirits to travel this road with us.

    • Cori S.

      Wow, this is so sweet.

    • Cori S.

      Thank you all!

    • Jannet Juarez

      Hi, Cori!

      I totally understand where you’re coming from. I’ve been in the same season you’re in for about 3 years now. I lost my best friend when I came to know the Lord and I now know it was necessary for my spiritual growth, but it has caused me all sorts of anxiety in meeting new friends. Even in the church! That anxiety has led to depression and while I know that Jesus is my best friend, I do know the feeling of wanting to connect with other women in fellowship. Here’s my email if you ever want to reach out! I and I’ll keep you in prayer as well, my dear sister in Christ!
      [email protected]

  • Audrey Gonzalez

    So great to know we are not in this alone. Also stood out to me that God and his word is such a vital part to be remembered in all aspects of life. I can do better at making him my focus throughout the day…not just when I need something.

  • Kaitlyn Reed

    This reading reminded me of my dear friend Karen. She is so encouraging to me. Thank you Jesus for Karen!

  • Teresa Streit

    It is so helpful to be able to share our lives with our friends. We are all going through something. Sharing encouragement helps so much.

  • Leslie VanNess

    Amen sisterts♥️

  • Such a timely devotion. I’ve been going through some dark thoughts the last few days. Asking questions as to how we people can be of value for one another. Questions that are easy to give positive answers to. But also easy to be very cynical about. All that helps me then is a good amount of close proximity and openness between people. And this God has never failed me in. Even if thoughts might be dark for longer than I’d like….

    • Julie

      Praying for you Songbird. Hold up scripture to these dark thoughts. They will pass. You will be okay. One of my go to scriptures is Isaiah 41:10 Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will hold on to you with my righteous right hand. Blessings to you. Take care

  • Concepción Jenkins

    So on cue! Recently God has been highlighting to me the importance of community and fellowship with family and friends! I’m a hardcore, proud introvert and so is my husband. It is very easy for us to keep to ourselves, especially being newly weds! But, we’re slowly learning that friends, along with family, expect us to share our lives with them–and more importantly, God expects this from us. It’s more of a discipline now, but I’m hopeful that it’ll become more of a delight!

    • Elise

      Totally with you on that!!! My husband and I are both introverts and sharing our lives/time with others doesn’t always come naturally! We’re working on it.

  • Loved today’s reading! I oversee community groups at my church and this is exactly what I feel is so important to communicate to my group leaders. We live in a time where it is so difficult to connect with people. We have less participation in groups because life is so, so busy. Trying to help my leaders understand that their work is not in vain. Relationships are so important, there are so many highs and lows in our lives…how amazing that God’s purpose for us is to not go through this life alone but to stand next to each other and support each other through those times. This has given me new hope and encouragement for the groups at our church, and for the lives that they reach.

  • This was an encouragement to me this morning. Family in Christ where “friendship is rooted in truth, and grown in grace” is so crucial. I recently got married and moved from Canada to the United States to be with my husband. It has been really difficult not only leaving my blood family but almost even more so, my church family. My husband and I are continuing to search for a sound Bible-believing home church and it has been so discouraging to be honest. I was so blessed back home to have such an amazing pastor, whom his family I was quite close to- his wife one of my very best friends; the fellowship there was like nothing I had ever had before. I was so blessed. And although those friendships still continue as I live here, those weekly hangouts and fellowship times are SO SO missed. Trying to find my groove here, as we have our new home and new town as newlyweds but I can definitely relate to this devotional today. I’d appreciate your prayers that deep-rooted Christian friendships and fellowship in the church would be something that I too may be able to find here and not just back home.

  • Amy Alexandra

    On my heart today: I’ve been thinking about friendships a lot lately, so this devotional is very timely. I often feel isolated because I live on the mission field with my parents, and it’s incredibly difficult to have an equal friendship with people here (for a variety of reasons). Lately, however, I’ve realized that it’s very easy to blame everyone else for the lack of meaningful friendships in my life rather than taking an honest look at what I could be doing to change that. I can blame the young women in my church here for not reaching out to me—or I could take the initiative and invite one of them out for coffee. I could blame my circumstances—or even God!—for placing me in a foreign country far away from people who share my cultural background, people I could be friends with—or I could make a point of texting Christian women I know in the U.S. once or twice a week. This devotional serves as one more reminder for me that if I value community as God does, I will make it a priority in my life rather than waiting for everyone else to make the first move.

    I also need to remember that God has chosen to place me in a lonely place right now. While I can and should seek relationships with other believers, I might not end up developing a close friendship right now. I need to remember that the relationships I form might not look like the kind of friendship I long to have, and that’s okay—Scripture is full of God leading His servants into a wilderness for a brief period of time. I need to trust that God has me where I am RIGHT NOW for a reason, and I should never let the (healthy) desire for connection with others tempt me to stop trusting and seeking connection with Him.

    • Morgan

      I too went through a time like this. I grew up on the mission field in an area where there weren’t a lot of options for friendships. I want to encourage you that God is using this time to mold you. I am so grateful for that time of my life because I was able to rely on God to fill that void of friendship and I now value friendship more. I am also closer to my siblings because of that time. God has provided me with friendships now that are deeper and more meaningful than I could have hoped for. He will fulfill that desire and give you more than you could imagine.

      • Candace

        I know that this is very common for people in the mission field… especially women. My mother, who was an MK and now a missionary herself with my dad, still today has a difficult time connecting with other women and investing in those long-lasting friendships because all her life growing up it was difficult when moving around so much. Be encouraged that (as you said) you are not alone. It is amazing the Body and Church we are a part of, through the blood of Jesus Christ which is even thicker than blood!

  • Lori Hamilton

    Today’s reading hit hard for me. I use to have who i thought was my sister in Christ. Unfortunately in the beginning of 2016 she left me with not knowing why we couldn’t be friends anymore all i got was she felt like our friendship wasn’t strong anymore. When i asked what does she feel happen she told me she didn’t feel like she had to explain her choice. It hit hard cause we were so close. We had been there through both her dad and my mom passing away in the same year. Both of us coming back to God and so many other seasons in our life. I know God places and takes people out of our lifes but her leaving without even letting us work on our friendship or even a reason why she didn’t want to remain friends really hurt. So today i still struggle to get close to anyone but my family. It would be nice to have a friend to talk to and pray with. God works on me everyday and I know he’ll place that special friend in my life in time but the pain still is there. I haven’t stop talking about the good news and i never will i just hope one day I’ll have that sister in Christ i can do it with.

    • Mari

      Lori, I will pray for you. I can remember during a small group Bible study I had The same prayer request longing for that special friend. My friend Gretchen came up to me afterwards and said, “I’ll be your friend”. We been great friends over 20 years now. Our boys have grown up together. Lori I will pray for that special friend for you. You will be able to trust again. God is good!

      • Lori Hamilton

        Thank you so much for the prayer it means a lot.

      • Hope

        Mari,
        Your testimony is so so beautiful. I love both you and Gretchen’s heart. I love your heart of transparency and I just love Gretchen’s obedience to the Holy Spirit. You are blessed.

    • Kelly

      I will pray for you too! The sting of lost friendship is strong. I pray that you will have the courage to allow yourself to get close to someone again when you have the chance.

  • Prayers for peace, encouraging friends, fellowship and love among all of us that are blessed by SRT and who long to live as Christ followers,

  • God is so good! I needed this so much this morning. I am blessed to have friends surrounding me. Constantly checking on me via text. I know that I am loved. How I long to be that friend to many others. I want to be the one that encourages others. But for now I’ll take it off.. And with that said once again I ask for prayer for my son. He hurts so much. In this is taking a long time.

    • She Reads Truth

      Hi Mari, thank you for sharing and we are coming your son in our prayers today! – Abby, The SRT Team

      • Mari

        Thank you Abby! It means so much to me. I’m going to work full of joy after reading this. And I meant to say I’ll take it “all” not off. Sorry for my typo. What’s the SRT email. I’ve been meaning to email more detail instead of putting it here

  • Lois Wilson

    What struck me in this reading was Thessalonians 2:18 where Paul says “satan prevented” them from going back to Thessalonica. In our reading on Monday in Acts 16 we read how the Holy Spirit prevented them from going in this or that direction. My prayer today is to have the wisdom and discernment to know the difference. I want my steps to be directed by the Holy Spirit!

    • Pam

      Amen

    • Cori S.

      I found this intriguing, too.

    • Brooke Swanson

      Mic drop! I missed this in the readings. Other than being in the Word daily in small doses THIS is why I love this format. So many eyes and minds and hearts to read these same words differently than I myself do :)

    • Rebecca Leek

      How do we discern the difference? Maybe nudges that are not from the Holy Spirit are more selfless?

      • Hope

        But sometimes God is quiet. I’d like to think that when he is I remember and listen to the last thing he told me to do.

    • Brenda Gallagher

      Lois, your question really intrigues me why Paul was prevented by Satan. I wish there was more of a reason here. I guess we will have to ask when we get to heaven.

  • I have read many posts that I have been blessed by over the years. But have never posted myself. I too long for a close personal, Christian friendship. I have family whom I’m very close to, but not a best friend outside of family.

    • She Reads Truth

      Thank you for sharing Garilee. I definitely understand that longing for closeness and community! Praying that God will direct the right people your way in His perfect time. We’re so glad to have you here! – Abby, The SRT Team

    • Melody Rose

      Yes. I know exactly what this is like! It is such a hard place to be in. My encouragement to you is to keep reaching out—be it online or in person. You never know who may be hurting for a friend in the same way that you are. Last year, I went through an intense season of loneliness. I’m married and I have family close by—but no girlfriend to talk about deep girl things with. But one day, I sent a message to someone in reply to a question they had posted in a Facebook group. We had known each other online for several years but had never talked or messaged. We started talking and haven’t stopped since—that was last fall. This weekend we’re meeting for the first time and attending a retreat together. She is now one of my dearest friends and a true kindred spirit. My point: there is hope. I will point out that these things take time, and for every 50 people you talk to, you may only make a friend out of one of them—but that makes it worth it. Two things that really helped me were the book Uninvited and this sermon series called Only The Lonely https://www.tvcresources.net/resource-library/sermons/by-series/only-the-lonely Praying that Jesus will feel close to you, and that He will bring the exact person into your life that you need.

    • Deborah Craytor

      I would like that kind of friendship too!

  • I think I tend to isolate from others in the name of “busyness”. Calling back a friend can feel more like a chore than anything. What an important reminder that we can sharpen each other in the Lord, encourage one another and provide that much needed support to one another as sons and daughters of the King.

  • I could use prayer for a more Christian fellowship and genuine friendship right now. With friends getting caught up in the busyness of marriage and kids, I feel left out as a single person and wondering who can be there for me. It’s hard to know life is meant to be shared when I don’t have as many chances as I’d like to share it!

    • Michele

      Dear Kelly,
      Your post, above all others, was the one that caught my eye. You are so right that there are many things that distract us from what is really important – sharing life together. I am praying for you dear sister.

    • Pam

      Hi Kelly, if you are not already, being plugged into a local church is a great way to connect to other Christians. Serving the Lord along with other people helps develop those connections. I say church is a place where we learn to give and bear fruit – and we are so blessed along the way. Every church needs people willing to share their time, gifts, talents, and effort. Praying for you!

    • Alexis

      Hi Kelly,
      I understand how you feel as I am also in that boat right now with a few of my friends. I will pray for meaningful christian relationships with fellow believers. Also, if you ever want to just want someone to email, here’s my address: [email protected]

  • Erica Cosgrove

    Community is such a beautiful thing that I lacked for a number of years. I had friends, but not ones that were super close and I could go deep with. About a year and a half ago (the start of my junior year in college) I really started praying for deep, godly friendships because I was tired of feeling alone. Praise God He took that request and blessed me more than I even imagined. I got a job with the campus ministries team that literally dropped community in my lap and had me mentoring others on how to build small group communities. Now, as I look back after graduating in December I can very easily and quickly identify those girlfriends who will stick by me even from a distance and who will encourage me in the Lord, and I for them.

  • Ellie Shepherd

    Fellowship is so important! I always feel stronger and more encouraged after a conversation about Jesus with a friend.

  • Jessica Terpstra

    So blessed to share in the community of Christ!

  • Churchmouse

    Morning thoughts:

    Mission : “… We have been approved by God to be entrusted with the Gospel, so we speak…”

    Motivation : “We cared so much for you that we were pleased to share with you not only the Gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us.”

    Ministry : “We encouraged, comforted, and implored each one of you to live worthy of God, who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.”

    So…

    I have a Gospel mission, motivated by love for others and manifested in a ministry of encouragement and comfort so that these others may become deeply rooted in His kingdom. All for His glory.

    Let me get to it.

    Amen.

  • Kelly Chataine

    For more than two years, I have prayed for a believer best-friend. I had one years ago and she seemed like my sister in every way. I miss her. So, I have been praying and I have been trying to be that best-friend to others while I waited and prayed. One of the many blessings that came from my husband’s trauma was the realization that I already had three Godly women that I could call my friend, my deep and connected friend. Thanks be to God for Marilyn, Joanna and Pam! Praying that Barb, my friend from years ago, and I will one day be reunited.

  • As I read the passage (before I even looked at the devotional) I just got a deep longing for the type of relationship that Paul has with the Thessalonians. I’m married, but neither my husband or I really have those deep friendships where you can be raw & real with each other.
    It’s tough reading this passage about the very thing my soul yearns for & not knowing if I’ll find it.
    I had several friends in college who were like that to me; but after I graduated early it became tough to keep those connections.
    I am in a tough, lonely season of my life right now, but I pray that God brings me to the other side & fills my void first with Himself, and then selfishly I pray that He would also bring me these relationships I long for.
    Have a beautiful day sisters. <3

    • Brandie

      I just want you to know that God loves you. You may be lonely but you are not alone. I feel drawn to tell you that you are loved and chosen. I pray that you too will find that forever friend. God bless you my sister in Christ.

    • Gina Glennon

      I have walked in the desert in the past too. Through a good local church acquaintances became friends who became as family but it took time, years! May God bless you with His goodness.

    • Caroline Smith

      Oh Anna I will pray for you too!

  • So thankful you, Father God , love me this way; in and through relationship with others.

  • Penny McAuley

    I am blessed to have Christian friends at work who encourage and give me strength on a daily basis. Reading this scripture today and commentary remind me how precious this friendship is to me. Thank you Lord for your tender mercies. Blessings to me sisters in Christ.

  • Sandy Forsythe

    Three friends sharing this study- one in TX, one in NY, one in MA… love knows no distance.

    • Tina

      I love this.. may God richly bless each one of you… absolutely there us no distance in love… Amen.. xxxxx

  • I am thankful beyond belief for this community of women that I can turn to for hope and encouragement. My husband will be having major, open-heart surgery on Feb. 16 to fix an aneurysm; the kind of surgery where they cool your body to room temperature, stop your heart, work on it, then warm everything back up surgery. It was not what I was expecting to hear yesterday from the surgeon. Although, honestly, I don’t know what I was expecting. I just know I wasn’t expecting that. It has knocked me to my knees, which is a good, good place to be.
    I know that I all I have to do is ask and you will all be taking this before the throne. I can’t tell you how comforting that truth is for me right now. There are so many things I want you to pray about. Pray that the surgery goes perfectly – no complications, no lingering effects. Pray for protection, for peace over the next two weeks as we wait. Pray for freedom from fear and anxiety; (frankly, right now I am terrified – moments of sheer, “I can’t breathe” panic.)
    But, even more than all of that, please pray that this will count for God’s kingdom. I want with all my heart for Roger to be healed and whole again, but even more I want it to count. I want God’s glory to shine through every moment that we walk this path. I want people to be changed. I want to be a shining example of a woman who is well-loved by her Papa God. I want people to look at us and say “I want whatever it is that they’ve got.”
    Thank you so much. I told Roger last night that he was going to be lifted in prayer by women all over the world. As Paul told the Philippians, “I thank my God in all my remebrance of you.” (Phil. 1:3) Be blessed, my sweet sisters.

    • Kathy

      I will be praying! Please let us know how God uses this for His glory! So comforting and encouraging to know that we have each other!

      • Terry

        Praying for His peace to flood your hearts and minds during this season.

      • Elaine

        Praying for you and Roger. I can’t wait to see how God uses this for His glory!

    • Tina

      I will absolutely be praying my dear Kathy….from now on.. sending prayers wrapped in love and hugs from across the pond.. xxx

    • Melinda

      Praying for you both.

    • Shelby

      Praying with you, Kathy!
      What a beautiful, humble request. I was blessed reading this.
      Thank you for the reminder to pray for our lives and circumstances to count for the kingdom. Your strength has been an encouragement to me. Xo

    • Lynne

      Kathy, I prayed for both of you this morning and will be praying every day. May God’s peace and strength flood your heart. Please keep us updated.

    • Susan

      Praying!

    • Bessie

      Praying from Virginia. May God’s peace that passes all understanding guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.

    • anne

      Kathy I will be praying for you and your husband; I pray this will be used by God, and for peace for you and your husband and healing and friends and family to be at your side holding you up as well.

    • ~ B ~

      Praying for peace and healing today and in the coming days, Kathy. Prayerful that God covers your husband’s physicians and surgeons with an overwhelming sense of ability and allows them to see the Kingdom through the work they’re doing with your husband, as well.

    • Churchmouse

      Thank you Kathy for asking for prayer. It’s a privilege to kneel alongside so many to intercede on your behalf before the Great Physician. Praying you and your husband are overwhelmed by peace. Praying you both feel His presence and His power. Praying that Feb. 16 is the day you see the miraculous hand of God at work in a way that everyone can see and know and believe. I’m marking it on my calendar.

    • MNmomma(HeatherN)

      Linking arms and joining in prayer….

    • Erin

      Lifting both you and Roger up in prayer! Love the way you phrased that you want it to “count for God’s kingdom”! Such a sweet way of looking at it.

    • CJ

      Yes Lord – we come before you knowing you can do all things. Thank you that we can ask boldly Lord for things we cant even imagine. We come together Lord as your daughters and for your hand to be the surgeons hand Lord – for a perfect surgery. May the Peace that passes understanding be in Kathy and her family’s hearts God. Wash over them with peace. <3

    • Veronica

      Praying for your husband this morning!

    • Victoria

      I will be praying for you and your husband.

    • GramsieSue

      So blessed by your request. I took a screenshot so that I could pray each and every one of your prayers. God is already at work and His glory will shine. Hugs to you and Roger. ❤️

    • Rhonda Johnson

      How touching to read your words, even though I can feel the panic in your voice in the beginning, it goes to reassurance and comfort by the end, brought tears to my eyes. Prayers to you and your husband.

    • Mari

      February 16! You got it Kathy that is an easy day to member that was/is daddy’s birthday. The Lords already being glorified through this, your walk and your faith through all this is an encouragement to me.

    • Alexis

      Praying for you and Roger this morning, that you both have peace.

    • Krystle

      I will be praying for you and your husband! Praying for the peace that passes all understanding, for healing, and that even now the Lord is preparing the hands that will perform the surgery. ❤️

    • Natasha Reyes

      I’m praying for you and Roger here in Hong Kong! And I thank God for your words today, your faith is inspiring. I also pray that any challenges that come my way will knock me to my knees and not flat on my face, because you are right, it is a good place to be.

  • I rely on SRT sisters for encouragement and love filled messages. Thanking God for you.

  • Sue Reagon

    Just waiting for the door bell to ring and the arrival of two dear Christian friends.We will enjoy coffee,cake ,fellowship and prayer together.Blessings to you all this morning and greetings from England

  • Isn’t it the best to write words of truth, encouragement, love, hope…. to another?
    As one who receives, oh, my precious Lord, it is so so the best.
    I have such letters in a box that comes out from time to time from my dad, who is no longer here.. The words still very special. Still loving. Still encouraging…
    Some months after he died, I received a letter from him. . I remember seeing the handwriting and my heart jumping half out of my body… It took me some time before opening it.. I knew it would contain the last written words of love, encouragement, advise, guidance and promises of hope.. I knew it would be sign off in love and end with…’ Yours ever… Daddy..’
    I miss my earthly Daddy every day…

    But God…
    My heavenly father, by His Word, grace, love, faithfulness and promises keeps me going. I am joy filled each day by His grace, whatever the circumstances, because my hope is in Him. His words each day are a guide and a lamp.
    Grateful and thankful to God for the man I called Daddy…and His encouraging words and love over the years, lead, I am sure, by God. Thankful that this didn’t end with the last letter… but carries on with the truth I read each day in God’s Word…
    Amen.

    Sending all a message of love wrapped in a hug filled with prayers of peace and grace today…
    Love you my sisters..xxx

    • Dana

      Beautiful, absolutely beautiful. Thank you for sharing your heart, and such a touching memory, with us.

    • ~ B ~

      Always love your words, T! Hugs to you wonderful friend!

    • GramsieSue

      Love this sweet message. ❤️

    • Churchmouse

      You are an encouragement to me. Blessings to you there from here. One day we will meet face to face. I imagine Jesus making the introduction

    • Mari

      Tina, your words always encouraging me I needed this this morning

    • Caroline Smith

      Oh Tina I feel for you love! I miss my early daddy too! Your dad sounds like such a sweet and thoughtful man!

  • Alice Carroll

    And here we all are, doing the sharing thing right now!

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