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The Upper Room Devotion for Wednesday, June 21, 2023, was written by Berthin Sappang of East Kalimantan, Indonesia.



1 Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. 2 Ascribe to the Lord the glory of his name; worship the Lord in holy splendor. 3 The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the Lord, over mighty waters. 4 The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty. 5 The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars; the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon. 6 He makes Lebanon skip like a calf, and Sirion like a young wild ox. 7 The voice of the Lord flashes forth flames of fire. 8 The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness; the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh. 9 The voice of the Lord causes the oaks to whirl, and strips the forest bare; and in his temple all say, "Glory!" 10 The Lord sits enthroned over the flood; the Lord sits enthroned as king forever. 11 May the Lord give strength to his people! May the Lord bless his people with peace!

Psalm 29 NRSV



Since childhood I have been a good student, an active participant in church activities, and part of a well-known family in my community. Being the best and succeeding in the eyes of others was an ambition of mine – until I experienced failure. I failed the entrance exam for my dream college, despite studying hard. Good relations in my family broke down. Although I worked hard, I was unable to accomplish my dream of studying abroad. Despite being known as active and smart in college, I didn’t get a job that others considered good. At 27 years old, I was not married, I often worried excessively about the future, and I was diagnosed with a mental disorder that often interferes with my relationships.

Experiencing these disappointments sent me into a deep depression because I felt unable and unprepared to face them. I am grateful that Jesus Christ reminded me that I will always be strengthened through prayer, God’s word, and the people who support me. I believe that God is sovereign and always good, no matter what my situation is. Even when I fail, God loves me and often teaches me through failure. And God’s presence and love offer comfort and give me strength.




What do you do when faced with disappointment and disapproval? We will all face moments where we are disappointed in ourselves and in the actions of others, but how we navigate that disappointment is important. Do we turn to God for guidance, seeking healthy mechanisms for managing our disappointments? Do we turn our disappointment inward toward self-loathing and despair? How we manage our disappointments, and the disapproval of others, can either strengthen our character or cause us to falter. Bethin’s reflection reminds us to turn to God for reassurance, grace, and hope. God is able to take our disappointments and create a blessing that will enrich us in unimaginable ways.

-Pastor Anthony



Loving Father God, teach us to be grateful for our experiences and to believe that you are always good, no matter our circumstances. Amen.

- Berthin Sappang


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