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The Upper Room Devotion for Thursday, May 2, 2024, was written by Nestor Castellanos of Texas.



1 After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord spoke to Joshua son of Nun, Moses' assistant, saying, 2 “My servant Moses is dead. Now proceed to cross the Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the Israelites. 3 Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, as I promised to Moses. 4 From the wilderness and the Lebanon as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, to the Great Sea in the west shall be your territory. 5 No one shall be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you. 6 Be strong and courageous; for you shall put this people in possession of the land that I swore to their ancestors to give them. 7 Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to act in accordance with all the law that my servant Moses commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, so that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth; you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to act in accordance with all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall be successful. 9 I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Joshua 1:1-9 NRSV


Author's Thoughts

As I was growing up, my parents didn't have much money, and we were always on a tight budget. Both my parents would wake up at 5:00 a.m. every morning and head to work. There were times when my dad wouldn't come home for months. At an incredibly early age I was left with the responsibility of taking care of both my younger siblings. I had to help my brothers pack their lunch for school, wait for them to board the bus, and then get ready for school myself. Arriving home after school, I would immediately rush to the kitchen and prepare food for my brothers because there were times when my parents would get home late. Some days I felt too tired to complete all these tasks, but I still managed not to complain and to help my parents all I could.

After one very hectic day, I was simply overwhelmed. My parents would always read the Bible to us, and that day I specifically remembered, "But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded." I prayed and asked God for strength to continue. Sometimes our responsibilities can overwhelm us and make us want to give up. It's important to remind ourselves that God is here with us to give us strength and courage to persevere.


Pastor Anthony's Thoughts


It is not easy to persevere under seemingly overwhelming obstacles and challenges. We can grow weary trying to find the strength to withstand aggravations, betrayals, disappointments, and frustrations. Thankfully, we do not need to rely on our own strength to endure our challenges. God journey's with, offering us the encouragement and guidance we need to navigate all our obstacles.


Author's Prayer

Heavenly Father, we ask for strength on the days when we want to give up. Keep us always aware of the hope and future you have for our lives. Amen.


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