About the Author

Renee Swope is a Word-lover, heart-encourager and grace-needer. She's also best-selling author of "A Confident Heart" and the familiar voice of a friend to women around the world as the former Proverbs 31 Ministries' radio co-host for ten years. Renee is a mom of three Joshua (25), Andrew (22) and...

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  1. Renee,
    Beautiful reminder of “if God is for me, who can be against me?” In order to be conformed into the image of Christ, we will be called to participate in His suffering. When we are betrayed, slandered, abandoned, ridiculed, we begin to get a tiny glimpse of what Christ went through for us so that we might walk in freedom. My prayer request is for our country right now that we would turn from our evil ways and be obedient to God and that we would love others as we were first loved. We were created to be in a loving relationship with God and then to live out that relationship with all of our brothers and sisters. Let peace begin with me…
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

  2. My relationship with my 21 year old daughter – feel so hurt / upset / betrayed .. and it is affecting every part of my life .. she has stolen my joy – am praying for healing restoration and peace .. feel a failure as a mum … so hard … thank you for today’s reminder that God is with me in the pain

    • Trust that God will work in your daughter’s life in ways that may not be immediately evident to you. God is sovereign and she has her own journey to make. Her decisions are her own and don’t reflect that you have failed as a mom. On the contrary! Bring her to the Lord in prayer, and you are being the best mom ever! I pray for perspective and strength for you through this difficult time.

      • Hang on and keep praying. Unfortunately when my daughter entered her first year of college one of the “Christian girls” she became friends with was not very Christian. Oh she could quote scripture and would give her unsolicited advice to my daughter. The once, very close relationship I had with my daughter became very challenging. I knew something was up. This older girl who had never met me decided that my daughter needed to hate me. It was a horrible year. We were scared for our daughter’s mind and life. I had everyone praying. Once her Freshman year was over and she had to move back home we were able tho discuss things with her. I had researched the internet to find the meaning of personality types that were manipulative, narcissistic, etc. my daughter then realized that was exactly what this girl was like and shared some examples. Thank God my daughter did have other friends around her and one especially decided to keep away from the older girl but still stuck by my daughter’s side. Thank goodness the older girl graduated and went back to her home state away from ours. My daughter is 27 now. I asked her one day not long ago if she got over the manipulative tricks of the other girl. She said she was about 3/4 of her way over it. Just keep praying for your daughter whatever the situation is. We are not fighting flesh and blood but the evil one himself. I even prayed for that other girl as well. You’ve got God on your side. He loves you and your daughter. Never give up on her. Ask God to protect her, help her to see and hear Him, and to bring her back to you. God bless you, Susan

    • While The Message is not a study Bible, sometimes the paraphrased verses really hit me. In trying my way to handle “everything,” I read Exodus 14:14 where the Israelites are confronted with the Red Sea in the front and Pharaoh’s army in the rear. God’s answer to their anguished prayer was “God will fight the battle for you. And you? You keep your mouths shut!”

    • Caroline,
      I have wrestled with this (with my daughter) for so long now. God gives our adult children the gift of free will and your daughter is exercising hers right now. Any feelings of guilt, shame, failure are straight from the enemy. He wants to take your daughter down and you too – don’t let him. I learned I had to let go of praying for “outcomes” or “results” ie: reconcilliation. Instead I had to focus on building my relationship with the Lord and also praying that my daughter’s relationship with the Lord would be renewed. The battle belongs to the Lord. Be easy on yourself, lean into Him, and let Him fight for you. I’m right there with you, clinging to the Lord. I know it hurts!
      Blessings,
      Bev xx

    • Caroline,

      Oh sweet Caroline you are not a failure as a mom. God gives everyone free will to choose their paths. It often happens that you raise your children right-pray, go to church, etc. Then the world get a hold of them. They are enticed by worldly glamour. Please do not be hard on yourself. You did nothing wrong. It is of the devil. He seeks to devour whom he can. Keep on praying for your daughter. God in His perfect timing will answer that prayer.

      (((((Hugs)))))

    • Gosh Carol, I feel the pain in your words and I am so sorry. My mom and I have been through so many ups and downs, heart breaks and healing. And then we start all over again. I think the biggest thing we’ve both learned is to let go of what we each of us expects of the other. Through my prayers and tears, God has challenged me to find something good in what is. and take my eyes off of what isn’t. We just don’t see life or relationships through the same lens, and never have. The more I let go, the more I can love and like her for how she is instead of sinking in sorrow for what she just doesn’t want (or isn’t able) to be. I don’t know if that helps or is any way, or is at all relatable to what you are going through but I wanted to share it just in case it might encourage you. Praying for you now.

    • Hi Caroline! 🙂 I hope you are having a good day!
      I totally relate to what you said. I also have a 21 year old daughter who has come against me
      in a very harsh, public way. I can not describe the hurt/pain. I loved my kids and surely did my best
      but she states that I did not. I mean after all I invested in them. I have had to take a hard look at myself and see the things that I did to hurt her. We are getting together next Tues with a counselor. I am feeling more peace today but still looking forward to it and not looking forward to it. I know I have to look up for my identity and not at my children or husband. My husband and I have really struggled and that is part of her complaint. It’s hard. In some ways I really feel alone. How do they have the right to write whatever they want in a public forum?? Things you can never recover or take back. How do you get over that?? Even if I forgive. I love her, but at what cost?
      Thanks for listening!!

  3. I recently got divorced, taking all the strength and courage that I had to leave an oppressive, harmful marriage. With it, I lost close friends and my church family. I need prayers to heal and move forward.

    • Lord, please wrap Rebecca up in Your love today. God of hope, fill her with all joy and peace as she trusts in You, that she may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13). Be her strength as she has to rebuild friendships. Please send people to love her with Your love and remind her she’s never alone. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.

    • Rebecca,
      Lean in close to God. I’ve walked in your shoes and I know that God is faithful. He is able and he will restore the years that the locusts have eaten. Praying for you right now for God’s love to comfort you and for good and healthy relationships to be set on your path. Asking him to send those people and that you will know that God is the God who stays and is sufficient to get you from one day to the next. Know that God loves you furiously and delights in you. Allow Him to love on you right now.
      Blessings,
      Bev xx

    • I am so sorry for all that you’ve been through and are going through. Praying for God to redeem all that you’ve lost and restore your heart with hope and peace. It takes a lot of courage to do this. God wants you to make you whole and healed through this but it will take time. Believing and praying Jeremiah 29:11-13 for you.

  4. You can pray for my relationship with one of my board members who seems to support my leadership and yet is angrily resistant to any movement or change.

  5. Thank you! When betrayal hits in a Christian setting it can knock you back hard, but reading your words, hearing the echoes of what happened to me, really helps. For me, it was the Lord’s way of getting me out of a place where I was too comfortable, and sending me off on a new challenge. I’m now in Scotland (land of my birth!) and in lockdown. These 3 months have been such a gift! I’ve had a chance to get quiet with the Lord, and let the past settle and blow gently away in the lovely fresh air up here in the Highlands.

    • Isn’t God’s timing amazing? Sometimes He allows things to get so bad to get us to make a change that He wants and knows is best for us. I’m so glad you are experiencing that now.

  6. Hi everyone please keep me and my family in your prayers. My dad wants to stay where we currently live but mom wants to move with my adult sister who has a job. There is alot of tension in the home and I would pray this problem be resolved. Thank you so much!

    • Grace,

      Prayers for the whole family. It can be hard know what to do. Asking God to give everyone wisdom as to their next steps. May He bring peace & calm to this tension filled family.

      Abba Father,

      Please give Grace’s family the wisdom & knowledge to make a hard decision. Guide their steps. Send a peace to this tension filled family. Make it known if they should move with the sister or stay put. In Jesus name AMEN!

      (((((Hugs)))))

  7. Been there! There are times to stay and times to leave and it can be hard to discern which it is!

    My relationship with my twin sister is fraught with hurt. I despair of it ever being good but I appreciate prayers!

  8. I am facing a difficult place in a cherished friendship. My dear friend has decided to uproot herself and walk away from what we have shared. Without explanation. Meanwhile I see her pouring into and enjoying other people. My heart feels like it’s breaking. I truly felt we had a forever friendship and now I’m left with nothing but feeling rejected and abandoned. Which is rather ironic, because she knows my past and my fear of rejection. So the heartache is compounded. I keep crying out to God and placing this dear friend in His hands. I know He is at work, and I know His plans are best. But it’s in this awful middle place that I find myself. It’s so easy for me to over analyze and self-criticize. It is my desire to be in the place where God wants me- with or without this relationship. I need relief from the rejection that daily pummels my heart and a sense of peace for the “right now”. So I am here asking for prayer…. thank you.

    • Hi, I don’t know you but I empathize with you. Do you know that sometimes, GOD moves people out of certain spots in our hearts so HE can move in? Maybe you could try fitting GOD into where your friend used to be in your heart…tell HIM about your day, what hurt, what made you smile, who made you feel loved or not, everything. Talk to our LORD JESUS as you would to your friend. At first, you would think HE didn’t hear you. But, HE’ll start leaving hints that HE heard, start guiding you and preparing your mind for HIS next place for you. It’s an unforgettable awareness. Peace to your heart in JESUS Mighty name, amen!

      • Joy, I’m so sorry. Praying for your heart in this and for God to show you Himself more and more as you walk though this. He is with you, standing right by your side.

        • I’m not the one in need, it’s Liz. I was trying to encourage her. Maybe you typed the wrong name. 🙂 Blessings.

  9. I have been in a storm for years and it has been very difficult. Seeing one of my sons hurt it’s not easy. I’m still praying for my sons life and a breakthrough and job for him. Also for my daughters desires. I wish I could do something for my daughter and sons but what I can do is pray for them , trusting the Lord that he is going to make a way for them. Thank you for praying for us. Sometimes it’s not easy to feel sad everyday. God bless you.

  10. Thank you for this encouraging reminder, for sharing your personal experience, and how you were lead to navigate through it.

    It seems many times Christian settings are the most unloving and unlovely. Pride and the ways of the world seem to permeate, and those that are seeking to serve the Lord and follow Him are made to be outsiders and treated with scorn.

    In John 13:35, Jesus tells us “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”

    There’s an old song, “What the World Needs Now Is Love.”

    God is love, and we surely need Him.

  11. Staying is so hard when there’s a heavy trial, but Christ stayed, even though He asked His Father to remove this cup from Him. Sometimes we see what’s ahead and we can’t process how we could even go through it, just like the Israelites at the Red Sea. But we forget that God allowed this trial to happen, He will strengthen us to go through it and in the end we’ll see a sweet fruit of holiness in us.

  12. Thank you so much for this devotional today. It was timely and so very much appreciated that we are not alone!

    I was recently misunderstood by the close people. It’s been hard wondering what to do. I tried to reconcile and communicate as best as possible . But there has been a lot that has not be reconciled. It pains me, and I pray there will be unity and peace as we are all the body of Christ. Its a complicated situation, with much hurt, and has confused me about the Lords will and calling. Thank you for the admonition to remember we are not alone, and that God is with us! Thank you for speaking truth today!

  13. I was once hurt by a best friend. This took me to a place of rejection and low self esteem, because her words were strong enough to divide my soul. But guess what? God used this opportunty to draw me to His end. He healed every broken heart and gave me Peace. Now, i am a strong Independent woman with an understanding of what brokenness means. It is a Phase, and it gets better.

  14. Weary….that is the exact word I’ve been speaking to myself to describe my relationship situation. Not hurt. Not angry. Not mad. Not…. The list could go on. Just plain weary. And The Enemy knows that in his relentless pursuit. I truly need right, Godly counsel and wisdom, discernment, & insight as I try to live this life with grace & “more abundantly.” Make sense? Prayers greatly appreciated.

  15. I have a tendency to over think things after conversations I have with people. Recently I had a situation with someone that we talked through and I felt we really got things on track. Then I go back over it again and again thinking well Maybe I should have said this! Or maybe they thought I meant this. I drive myself nuts! Instead of just resting and being grateful we talked and forgave each other and moving on. The enemy sure knows how to keep me riled up!

  16. Renee,

    Relationships are hard to maintain. Words spoken get taken out of context. Feelings get hurt. We must remember Jesus was rejected by the very people He came to save. Yet not once did He give up on His mission. He just kept on praying & seeking His father’s will. As Christians we are called to do the same. We must pray hard, long & be forgiving of others. We shouldn’t let past hurts or misinterpreted words deter us from staying put where God put us. My prayer request is for our country & for cancer victims. Asking God to help us rid this world of injustice, hatred & disunity. Bring a revival back here so we can go back to our original roots of being a Christian nation. Asking for help with fundraising for Relay for Life. Give us wisdom to seek out alternative ways to meet our goals.

    Blessings 🙂

  17. Wonderful Renee,
    Thanks so much for this beautiful reflection. You highlighted one of my favorite verses from Paul’s last recorded letter — his statement to young Timothy: “But the Lord stood with me!” They’re such encouraging words. Thanks so much for this reminder. It’s both timeless and timely. Much appreciated. Peace and love, Patricia