The Upper Room Devotion for Monday, September 18, 2023, was written by Ruth Haroon of Punjab, Pakistan.
1 O Lord, how many are my foes! Many are rising against me; 2 many are saying to me, “There is no help for you in God.” Selah 3 But you, O Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, and the one who lifts up my head. 4 I cry aloud to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy hill. Selah 5 I lie down and sleep; I wake again, for the Lord sustains me. 6 I am not afraid of ten thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around. 7 Rise up, O Lord! Deliver me, O my God! For you strike all my enemies on the cheek; you break the teeth of the wicked. 8 Deliverance belongs to the Lord; may your blessing be on your people! Selah
Psalm 3:1-8 NRSV
When I was 10 years old, we moved to a new city, and I started attending a new school. When I came to class on the first day, the teacher asked me to sit on the last bench. She said in an angry voice, "Here comes another dull sutdent." In my country, Christians are a minority and often face prejudice and even persecution.
As time passed, I kept working hard and kept praying for my success. My parents also prayed for me and encouraged me. In the final exams, I achieved the highest scores. That day the teacher said to the class in very low voice, "Ruth is a brilliant student." I studied in that school for six more years, and God sustained me.
Years have passed since I completed school and my university education. Life presents a new challenge every day, but God has always been there to encourage me. I firmly believe that God is always with me, and I praise God's holy name.
Pastor Anthony's Thoughts
Ruth's reflection offers us encouragement to remain resilient when we endure challenges and the ridicule of others. As people of faith, we will not always be liked nor valued, but we must remain true to Christ's call to beacons of grace, joy, and hope.
Dear God, thank you for giving us strength to face each challenge, and help all those who are facing hardships. Amen.