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The Upper Room Devotion for Tuesday, April 23, 2024, was written by Bronwyn Ashton Winch of Queensland, Austrailia.



12 But we appeal to you, brothers and sisters, to respect those who labor among you, and have charge of you in the Lord and admonish you; 13 esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. 14 And we urge you, beloved, to admonish the idlers, encourage the faint hearted, help the weak, be patient with all of them. 15 See that none of you repays evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to all. 16 Rejoice always.

1 Thessalonians 5:12-16 NRSV


Author's Thoughts

I have often heard it said that "God will never give us more than we can handle." Yet, there are times in our lives when this is simply not true, and such statements ring hollow. Perhaps the biblical passages that are used to promote this idea have been misinterpreted. for example, 1 Corinthians 10:13 is a verse commonly cited, but it is about temptation rather than suffering.

Passages like 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 and James 1:2 tell us to rejoice always. But being told to rejoice when we have lost a loved one or are facing a life-altering health diagnosis can seem cruel. The command to rejoice in our suffering, however, is about rejoicing in Jesus despite our circumstances, not because of our circumstances. What a difference that understanding can make when trials come! It is much easier to rejoice in Jesus and what he has done for us than to rejoice in the difficulties we face.

Understanding these passages better has helped me lift my gaze from very difficult circumstances to God, who is with us every step of the way, offering hope, joy, and encouragement in the midst of life's most troublesome times.


Pastor Anthony's Thoughts


Bronwyn’s reflection challenges us to consider our mindset during seasons of hardship and trials. The scripture for today encourages us to focus on Jesus, amidst our struggles, recognizing Jesus grants us peace despite our circumstances.


Author's Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank you for being with us in our suffering. Help us to rejoice in you despite our circumstances, not because of them. In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.


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