Cheri's Blog

God is For Your Good

for yur good

Day 3 of Hey There, Girlfriend, a 5-day reading plan for finding courage for friendship, is upon us. And Don’t forget, you can also find this plan available on the YouVersion app. Together, we are looking into the Word of God to discern a biblical model for friendship. In today’s reading, we will shine light onto a truth we often forget: God is for your good –even in healing hurts created by those you let in close and giving you reliable and lasting relationships.

I know this one from experience. Years ago, my husband and I packed our family into a moving truck, sold the house, and left no forwarding address. We showed up at the new location with bright smiles in our attempt to leave the pain behind. Inside, we remained battered and bruised emotionally because of deep relational hurts we packed up along with our furniture.

Still, God was working. We found ourselves drawn to a couple at church. She knew everyone, having lived in that town all her life, sporting inner and outer beauty and sophistication. He was a coach, and the understated, but hilarious life of the party. A sweet relationship developed in time, and I have never been more thankful.

After we had been friends for a long time, I found the courage to ask how they had room for us. Our need was obvious. Friendless, broken, and desperate for relationships defined us. Why did they befriend us?

Tears flowed from my put-together friend. She never explained the tears, but I realized they simply needed us at just the time we needed them.

Learning God is For Your Good

Experience has taught me that when I am feeling alone, and need a friend, I am most likely not the only one. God is working in someone’s life who needs a friend as well. This is the juncture at which we find Philippians 4:18 at work.

“And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

Most adults have room for a new friend. We are not alone in our sense of isolation and friendlessness. Rich, true, and loyal friendships require that we believe God is preparing just the right friends for us; people who will like who we are, love us despite it, and even need us because of who we are.

Good and lasting friendships bloom when you and I are “mutually encouraged by each other’s faith” (Romans 1:11-12).

I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong— that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith. Romans 1:11-12

Therefore, these relationships transcend decades, seasons of life, or favorite pass times. Forget selecting people who are like you, or even your same age. Some of the dearest friends God has ordained for you may be thirty years older than you, or the same number of years younger.

Remember, you are not alone in your loneliness.

Ask God to prepare your future friends as He prepares you to be women who mutually encourage each other’s faith as you experience life together.

Meet you tomorrow for Day 4. (If you would like to go back to the first day, click this link: Day 1.)

Before you go, make sure you received my FREE gift to you. Get 3 resources to help you experience more of God in your everyday life. It’s filled with practical helps for living out what really matters.

FREE STIRRING FAITH BUNDLE

Get my FREE gift to you to help you experience more of God in your everyday life. You will receive two beautiful e-books (Awakening Hope, a 21-Day devotional, 7 Fundamentals for Navigating Relationships, and my Bible Reading Plan for a working strategy for reading the Bible month by month, day by day. You will also begin receiving more resources, news, and encouragement from me while gaining access to the Strange Library -- all of the resources I offer to members of the She Yearns Community without cost. Get your FREE gift today!

We respect your privacy.

Don’t miss the BIG REVEAL!

If you would like to become a part of the private FB group, She Prays, we would love to have you. Click the image to join.

glimpses of she prays

Cheri’s YouVersion plans have been enjoyed by over 700,000 readers. Did you know Cheri has over TWENTY different reading plans for you to choose from? Just click on the images below to check out these other popular plans, available here and on the YouVersion app.

The Journey Toward Waiting WellConquering Chaos

If you like She Prays for battling fear you will like finding light

You can meet Cheri on the She Yearns blog for more truth-saturated, Gospel-centered encouragement like this:

Times of testing

 

Together is God’s Idea

 

together is god's idea

Welcome to Day 2 of Hey There, Girlfriend, a 5-day reading plan for finding courage for friendship. This plan is also available on the YouVersion app. Together, we are looking into the Word of God to discern a biblical model for friendship. And together is exactly where we land today. Yearning for companionship to share our joys, our passions, our pain, and even the mundane is not something that catches God unaware. Together is His idea.

Alone is where we find ourselves sometimes. It might be because of a job change, relocation, or school. Maybe you’ve experienced loss, suddenly finding yourself drowning in emptiness. You and I can even be alone in a crowd. Just because people are around doesn’t inoculate you from feeling isolated. Yes, alone is a familiar place for many, but alone is not how God intends for us to experience life.

Before sin entered the world, God announces the one thing in all of creation that is not good (Genesis 2:18).

Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him. Genesis 2:18

We see this need met primarily through marriage, but the effects of loneliness and social isolation span across relationships. Ecclesiastes expounds upon this need by professing two are better than one, and three are even better (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, 12).

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken. Ecclesiastes 4:12

The Bible echoes this sentiment by bringing rich examples like Ruth and Naomi (Ruth 1), Paul and Timothy (2 timothy 2:3-5), Elijah and Elisha (2 Kings 2:2-12), and Moses and Aaron (Exodus 4), to name a few.

Jonathan and David are another pair highlighted in Scripture. They were unlikely friends. Jonathan should have been hunting David down with more resolve than his father, but there was no hatred and no resentment, only solidarity. Why? While Scripture doesn’t day, it points to a need.

Directly after David defeats Goliath, with nothing more than some rocks and a sling, Jonathan identifies a kindred spirit. These two find common ground in their fervor and love for God, overriding any human dissent.

As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. 2And Saul took him that day and would not let him return to his father’s house. 3Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul. 4And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him and gave it to David, and his armor, and even his sword and his bow and his belt. 1 Samuel 18:1-4

And when David is running for his life from Saul, Jonathan helps him find strength in the Lord (1 Samuel 23:16-17).

And Jonathan, Saul’s son, rose and went to David at Horesh, and strengthened his hand in God. 17And he said to him, “Do not fear, for the hand of Saul my father shall not find you. You shall be king over Israel, and I shall be next to you. Saul my father also knows this.” 1 Samuel 23:16-17

Courageous Faith in Friendship

Both men exhibit courageous faith, one in initiating the relationship, the other in reciprocating it. Sincere love is shared between friends devoted to one another, honoring the other above themselves. This relationship illustrates the friendship God desires for His people (Romans 12:9-10).

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Romans 12:9-10

The Gospel calls us into relationships, even those that seem unlikely. It’s His good plan that you and I experience the joy, the burdens, and the gift of loving beyond ourselves that come from friendships He ordains.

Maybe you need to pray, initiate a phone call, meet up with someone for lunch, or clear your schedule to be available for someone. Today, take one step toward leaving your habits of isolation, trusting God to provide for your needed friendships.

Meet you tomorrow for Day 3. (If you would like to go back to the first day, click this link: Day 1.)

Before you go, make sure you received my FREE gift to you. Get 3 resources to help you experience more of God in your everyday life. It’s filled with practical helps for living out what really matters.

FREE STIRRING FAITH BUNDLE

Get my FREE gift to you to help you experience more of God in your everyday life. You will receive two beautiful e-books (Awakening Hope, a 21-Day devotional, 7 Fundamentals for Navigating Relationships, and my Bible Reading Plan for a working strategy for reading the Bible month by month, day by day. You will also begin receiving more resources, news, and encouragement from me while gaining access to the Strange Library -- all of the resources I offer to members of the She Yearns Community without cost. Get your FREE gift today!

We respect your privacy.

Don’t miss the BIG REVEAL!

If you would like to become a part of the private FB group, She Prays, we would love to have you. Click the image to join.

glimpses of she prays

Cheri’s YouVersion plans have been enjoyed by over 700,000 readers. Did you know Cheri has over TWENTY different reading plans for you to choose from? Just click on the images below to check out these other popular plans, available here and on the YouVersion app.

The Journey Toward Waiting WellConquering Chaos

If you like She Prays for battling fear you will like finding light

You can meet Cheri on the She Yearns blog for more truth-saturated, Gospel-centered encouragement like this:

Times of testing

 

Start with What You Know

Hey there Girlfriend Days 1

Welcome to Day 1 of Hey There, Girlfriend: finding courage for friendship. I’m glad you are here and hope you will stick around for the five days. What I have learned in my adult years is that most of us could use a good friend. Many of us have been hurt by those we brought in close, and some of us have the emotional scars to prove it. Moving out to build relationships calls for risk. We are not even sure how to do it right. And because of all this, it is comforting to know that the Bible speaks to our very needs. The call, in our quest for deeper relationships with other women, is for courage. In Christ is where we will find it. The first step is to start with what you know.

Start with What You Know

Feeling isolated, lonely, or lacking in the friendship department? If so, you are in good company. In fact, the pandemic has only exacerbated the situation. Today, an alarming number of women feel they have no close friends; and if they have them, the relationships feel distant.

There can be many contributing factors causing your loneliness. The toll it takes makes us a more isolated people. Too often, you and I approach friendships in hesitation, timidity, and disappointment, weighed down with hordes of emotional baggage.

Our relationship baggage looms large because, frankly, this is not our first rodeo. We all survived middle school. Fear and experience override our faith. We stop believing God is for our good. You and I cope with our lack by dismissing our need of other people. Emotional walls stand tall for protection. We create insulators, like settling for digital relationships, because we are NOT allowing THAT to happen again. Failed friendships can leave open wounds and gaping holes in our hearts for sundry reasons we cannot fill.

How Starting with What We Know Affects Our Loneliness

Liberating our loneliness calls for a faith that believes God is for our good when all evidence is to the contrary (Psalm 34:8). Not only is He willing to meet our needs (Psalm 46:1), God is trustworthy with us in every circumstance (Deuteronomy 31:8). He also loves us despite ourselves (Romans 5:8), and sticks by our side closer than any human companion (Proverbs 18:24). In Christ, we have the best of intimacy, faithfulness, grace, comfort, and understanding, beyond what we deserve.

He, alone, sees you in your loneliness, your woundedness, and your need (Jeremiah 12:3). Just like the Psalmist, we can express how we feel and ask for His help.

Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. Psalm 25:16

Courage for finding and experiencing the friendship for which we long begins with what we may already know. Jesus is the one who gets you. He stands with you when the rest of the world passes you by. Our initial move away from loneliness is to draw closer to Jesus. Believe and trust Him to provide the courage required to try again.

Start with what you know. Jesus knows how to provide for your deficits. You can rely on Him for your wholeness.

Scripture for Day 1: Start with What You Know

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him! Psalm 34:8

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1

The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth. Exodus 34:6

It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8

 

Meet you tomorrow for Day 2.

Before you go, make sure you received my FREE gift to you. Get 3 resources to help you experience more of God in your everyday life. It’s filled with practical helps for living out what really matters.

FREE STIRRING FAITH BUNDLE

Get my FREE gift to you to help you experience more of God in your everyday life. You will receive two beautiful e-books (Awakening Hope, a 21-Day devotional, 7 Fundamentals for Navigating Relationships, and my Bible Reading Plan for a working strategy for reading the Bible month by month, day by day. You will also begin receiving more resources, news, and encouragement from me while gaining access to the Strange Library -- all of the resources I offer to members of the She Yearns Community without cost. Get your FREE gift today!

We respect your privacy.

Don’t miss the BIG REVEAL!

If you would like to become a part of the private FB group, She Prays, we would love to have you. Click the image to join.

glimpses of she prays

Cheri’s YouVersion plans have been enjoyed by over 700,000 readers. Did you know Cheri has over TWENTY different reading plans for you to choose from? Just click on the images below to check out these other popular plans, available here and on the YouVersion app.

The Journey Toward Waiting WellConquering Chaos

If you like She Prays for battling fear you will like finding light

You can meet Cheri on the She Yearns blog for more truth-saturated, Gospel-centered encouragement like this:

Times of testing

A Prayer Against Distraction

cover against distraction

A Prayer Against Distraction

She Prays on Fridays

What’s your plan for the day? I’ll bet you are multitasking and fighting to get everything done on your “To Do” list. How’s that going? If you and I are anything alike, half the battle is me and my personal wanderings. I spend too much time fighting against distraction, landing in a wilderness—miles, and miles from where I intended to go.

The “what if’s,” “maybe I should,” “ooh, look at that,” “oh, I forgot about X,” cat videos and social media scrolling, creep in, seeping into my thoughts and my thumbs, turning my actions away from my original agenda, and often in an opposing direction.

I know you get it because current data supports my predicament. Researchers have found that 47% of our days are spent in this wilderness wandering. Apparently, this wandering is so common and natural that we don’t even realize it is happening.

This finding shouldn’t be surprising in light of John 10:10.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

How better for the enemy to steal our focus and attention, far from experiencing the life Jesus came to give, than to lead us into distraction before we realize it’s even happening?

If you and I desire, not only to become the most productive versions of ourselves but women who live in abundance through Christ, we need to do what is unnatural, spending our efforts working against distraction.

The Good News in our Battle Against Distraction

The good news is that we are not alone. This recent discovery by researchers is nothing new. We don’t have a discourse on the thinking behind David’s writing of Psalm 119, but we can deduce where his problem areas surfaced. He aggressively attacks the battle with thought and action.

  1. He recognizes the problem.
  2. Then he sees the solution in seeking hard after God.
  3. In that process, he prays –affirming his battle plan.

I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. Psalm 119:15 ESV

But fixing his eyes and mind on God’s truth is not his only defense. Not only does David go on the offensive, he makes some defensive moves.

Turn my eyes from looking at what is worthless; give me life in your ways. Psalm 119:36

This one Psalm has found its way into my prayers regularly – for the sole reasons I expressed above. I can’t make good decisions without divine intervention. My deep need and depravity and longing for what seems natural – overpowers me and I lose.

Unless I do exactly what David models here.

How to Win Against Distraction

Recognize the problem

Attack the problem by doing what is not natural

Praying for God to enable me to be victorious in seeking Him over that which seeks to weaken me, shrink my reach, make me ineffective, and live a life absent of abundance.

I find Proverbs 4:25 to be helpful as I think and move and pray.

Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. Proverbs 4:25

We could go on looking to other places in the Bible that illustrate this same fight – and hear from different people from various centuries who knew the battle well. From Job to the writers of Psalms, Solomon, Luke, Matthew, Peter, Paul, and the author of Hebrews, to name a few, the battle against distraction is as old as time and common to all peoples.

Today, let’s advance toward abundant life in Jesus through prayer – to help us do what we cannot and experience what we might miss otherwise.

A Prayer Against Distractions

Against Distraction pinLord,

I am so thankful for your timeless Word that meets us in our culture, our circumstances, and our need. Today I pray over my friend what I, myself need. Help her to recognize her need to move away from distraction and toward You. And as she does, make her away of what is stealing her attention and affection from you. If it’s too much on her agenda, give her the wisdom to know what NOT to do.

When her mind wanders into the wilderness of wastefulness, help her see how and when it’s happening. Instead, draw her focus to your word. Make it clear, easy to understand, and enable her to embrace what you give over every natural inclination that beds down in her heart. Show her how to meditate on you and what it means to fix her eyes on you. And at the same time, turn her attention away from all that will not last. Supernaturally enable her to look directly forward, and gaze on you and the eternal purposes you have planned. Give her life in your ways, and nothing less.

Thank you for transforming her thought life to experience the abundance that lies in you.

In the glorious and unmatched name of Jesus.

Amen

Have you received my FREE gift to you? Get 3 resources to help you experience more of God in your everyday life. It’s filled with practical helps for living out what really matters.

FREE STIRRING FAITH BUNDLE

Get my FREE gift to you to help you experience more of God in your everyday life. You will receive two beautiful e-books (Awakening Hope, a 21-Day devotional, 7 Fundamentals for Navigating Relationships, and my Bible Reading Plan for a working strategy for reading the Bible month by month, day by day. You will also begin receiving more resources, news, and encouragement from me while gaining access to the Strange Library -- all of the resources I offer to members of the She Yearns Community without cost. Get your FREE gift today!

We respect your privacy.

If you would like to become a part of the private FB group, She Prays, we would love to have you. Click the image to join.

glimpses of she prays

Don’t forget to check out the latest FREE reading plan available from YouVersion?

She has over TWENTY different reading plans for you to choose from. Just click on the images below to check it out:

The Journey Toward Waiting WellConquering Chaos

If you like She Prays for battling fear you will like finding light

You can meet Cheri on the She Yearns blog for more truth-saturated, Gospel-centered encouragement like this:

Times of testing

 

God is For You

Cover God is for you

God is For You

She Prays on Friday

She Prays exists for two main reasons. One reason results from the rich depository of resources I have discovered for my own prayers in Scriptures, and the second is the realization that a woman might not have anyone in her life praying over her. Even if we cannot be together, in the flesh, I can pray the Word of God over you. There is nothing more effective than praying Scripture into the lives of others. And the easiest place for finding a biblical treasure trove to utilize is in the Psalms. Today I pray you leave with an overwhelming sense that God is for you.

How can you know God is for you?

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Romans 8:31-32

Simply stated, the Bible tells us He is. And because He is, Paul moves us to consider the limits God will go on our behalf.

He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?

I’m not really thinking along the lines of whether God is going to give you a new Mercedes or help you win the lottery. You can ask-but I’m thinking more about personal transformation, and greater Kingdom-type long-lasting ventures. Things like:

  • People transformation
  • Situation-reversals
  • Relationship reconciliation, and
  • Mountain-moving of all sorts.

The Offer

Herein lies the offer with a solid guarantee. Do you want to be different? Do you want to see a change in a relationship? Does anyone you work with need the hope found in Jesus? Is there any situation in your family that cries for reconciliation? Are there broken friendships that needs restoration? Are you waiting for God to move a mountain of obstacles in some miraculous way? What about the people you live around? Is there anything you are facing or anyone you know with consequences that are literally life or death in severity.

For thousands of years God has been placing His people in just the right location in exactly the situations necessary, exposing them to needs, hurts, atrocities, pain and disparity. Why? For what purpose? So that we would pray, begging Him to move on their behalf, and believe.

We must ask ourselves if we really expect God to do what we request? Are we ready for Him to do what is not humanly possible—to make a way in the darkest, bleakest situations? Because, if God is for us, who can be against us?

Still, God is for you.

What about you?

Do you believe God is for you?

Are you convinced, like Paul, that He for you in your situation? We’re not manipulating God here. God is Sovereign. He will do what He will do. But are we living today as if our God is for us. personally? If so, are there things that you and I need to get in place if God were to actually answer our prayers? This is the confidence in which Paul encourages us to pray.

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Romans 8:31-32

A Prayer for knowing God is for you

God is for you pinFather,

I pray for my friend, reading today, thanking you for essentially, having her back. Help her believe You are the God who knows her and loves her, regardless of what she has done or failed to do. The reasoning is so clear. You love her so much; you did not spare the pain or torture or humiliation or rejection or even an excruciating death from your own son to offer her such love.

Today, I ask that you grant her what she needs. I pray for a boldness on her part to ask with expectation. Give her the boldness to petition You with a “How will you not graciously give her all things?” mindset. Prepare her for your response. Heal hurts. Repair brokenness. Open doors. Make a way forward. Usher in transformation. More than anything, help her to know you as the God who is for her.

Amen.

Have you received my FREE gift to you? Get 3 resources to help you experience more of God in your everyday life. It’s filled with practical helps for living out what really matters.

FREE STIRRING FAITH BUNDLE

Get my FREE gift to you to help you experience more of God in your everyday life. You will receive two beautiful e-books (Awakening Hope, a 21-Day devotional, 7 Fundamentals for Navigating Relationships, and my Bible Reading Plan for a working strategy for reading the Bible month by month, day by day. You will also begin receiving more resources, news, and encouragement from me while gaining access to the Strange Library -- all of the resources I offer to members of the She Yearns Community without cost. Get your FREE gift today!

We respect your privacy.

If you would like to become a part of the private FB group, She Prays, we would love to have you. Click the image to join.

glimpses of she prays

Don’t forget to check out the latest FREE reading plan available from YouVersion?

She has over TWENTY different reading plans for you to choose from. Just click on the images below to check it out:

The Journey Toward Waiting WellConquering Chaos

If you like She Prays for battling fear you will like finding light

You can meet Cheri on the She Yearns blog for more truth-saturated, Gospel-centered encouragement like this:

 when to quit

 

 

We want YOU on the Team!

Join the Launch Team for Can You See Me, Now? Good news for the lonely, left out, and less than

Gain insider access, free graphics to post, and the chance to win prizes. 

We respect your privacy.