Christian Magazine | Spiritual Friendships


Happy New Year! I can’t believe it’s already time to flip the calendar again to look ahead with anticipation as another year dawns. And part of the joy of the new year is thinking about you! I so appreciate you being a subscriber to Just Between Us magazine. And I want to especially welcome those of you who have joined us this issue—we’re so glad you’re here! We are excited to share this journey of faith with you giving you hope and encouragement as you face whatever this year brings.

And for all of you long-term subscribers, know that we don’t take you for granted. You remain close to my heart through my prayers for you. Every word of every issue has been put together with your spiritual refreshment and encouragement in mind! And, it continues to be a privilege for me—along with all our writers—to invest in your lives spiritually year after year. We are more committed than ever to doing that in 2018.

In thinking about this New Year, the Lord kept putting the word hope on my heart. And the more I reflected on it, the more strongly I felt led to make that Just Between Us’ word for the year. We’ve never done that before, so I’m excited to see what God does as we make that our focus. Without hope, the lights very easily get turned off in our souls, and the umph to keep going somehow disappears leaving behind only darkness. As George Iles says, “Hope is faith holding out its hand in the dark.” Think about this ministry as one of God’s personal ways of holding His hand out to you when you are in those dark places or any place you are in need of  His presence—which is everywhere all the time!

I can’t think of any one of us who doesn’t need a big dose of hope every now and then. We want Just Between Us to be the place you can go where your hope can be restored and your spirit uplifted again because you’re part of a sisterhood that cares about you deeply, prays for you daily, and wants to remind you that you don’t walk this journey alone.    

Without even being aware of it, the Holy Spirit has woven the message of hope all throughout this issue (He is the editor of this magazine after all!) From Megan Marshman’s article on page 14 about reaching out to a world in need of hope, to Seana Scott and Martha Ybarra's advice on the importance of building spiritual friendships, to Katie Davis Majors’ book excerpt Daring to Hope, you’ll find an anchor for your soul that’s firm and secure. You’ll also meet women who have walked through some hard things, but who have come out on the other side with their hope intact…and a wonderful interview with author Sarah Beckman, on page18, who shows us how to walk alongside others in their moments of trials—in those moments when the lights in their souls have gone dark. So God not only gives us hope as an anchor for ourselves, but He uses us to give it to others.     

It’s my prayer that the Holy Spirit will use every word to whisper His hope into your hearts throughout this issue and new year. And in the words of Paul, “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” (Rom. 15:13). 

Until next time, 

Shelly Esser

Please enjoy the articles JBU has shared from this issue of Just Between Us Magazine. As you read, we pray you are encouraged as you trust God through whatever trials you face; finding contentment to help you embrace your circumstances and ultimately finding the peace only God can give.


IVP | Be Kind to Yourself

IVP | Learning to Be

Britton Books

Kregel | Wisdom

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