The Upper Room Devotion for Tuesday, January 23, 2024, was written by Daniel Walencia Guevara of State of Mexico, Mexico.
1 I will extol you, O Lord, for you have drawn me up, and did not let my foes rejoice over me. 2 O Lord my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me. 3 O Lord, you brought up my soul from Sheol, restored me to life from among those gone down to the Pit. 4 Sing praises to the Lord, O you his faithful ones, and give thanks to his holy name. 5 For his anger is but for a moment; his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning. 6 As for me, I said in my prosperity, “I shall never be moved.” 7 By your favor, O Lord, you had established me as a strong mountain; you hid your face; I was dismayed. 8 To you, O Lord, I cried, and to the Lord I made supplication: 9 “What profit is there in my death, if I go down to the Pit? Will the dust praise you? Will it tell of your faithfulness? 10 Hear, O Lord, and be gracious to me! O Lord, be my helper!” 11 You have turned my mourning into dancing; you have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, 12 so that my soul may praise you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever.
Psalm 30:1-12 NRSV
A few years ago, I felt uncomfortable in the workplace due to the attitudes and actions of my boss and some colleagues. The situation got so bad I was at the point of quitting my job. I started to read the Bible and The Upper Room daily devotional meditations and gave my life to Christ. I read other people's stories of situations like mine in the daily meditations. I learned I was not the only person going through difficult times. But God speaks to each of us in different ways. I learned to pray first giving thanks to God for all the things and then turning my concern over to God. Today my boss is no longer with the company, the working relationship with my colleagues has changed, and I received recognition for my years of service. What I know for sure is that God never abandons us and can change our mourning into dancing.
Pastor Anthony's Thoughts
We have all found ourselves in challenging and sometimes untenable situations. As people of faith, we have learned to attune our ears to God's direction and to lean on our faith for strength to endure. I invite you to reread Daniel's reflection and challenge yourself to find the blessings even in your challenging situations.
Blessed be your name, O Lord. Thank you for helping us find joy and peace in the many blessings we receive every day. We pray as you taught us, "Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation" (Lk. 11:2-4, NIV). Amen.