The Upper Room Devotion for Tuesday Janurary 2nd, 2024 was written by Janet Kratochvil of Indiana, USA
1Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. 3And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5and hope does not disappoint us, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.
Romans 5:1-5 NRSV
When we moved to our current home, we learned that the redbud tree is very common here. They are often oddly shaped with Gnarled trunks. Many have broken brances from storm damage. But in the spring, they are the first trees to bud; when their flowers open, they bring vibrant color to the dull, winter landscape.
One fall, my husband transplanted a redbud sapling into our yard. Within a few months, a storm had broken it's tallest branch. However, the young tree made it through the winter, and its remaining branch bloomed in the spring. It continues to grow tall to this day. God made the redbud tree to withstand all sorts of adversity, and it continues to be resilient.
I want to be like those beautiful trees. When I am faced with hardship, I want to trust in God my Creator. God has much good planned for us and can turn our struggles into blessings if we perservere. When hard times attack me, I want to be strong enough to say to them, "You are helpless against me because God made me and I can overcome anything though God's power." With this faith I can stand tall like the steadfast redbud trees.
Thought for the day
I can rely on God for resilience and strength.
Father God, thank you for models of resilience and strength in nature. Empower us to persevere through our struggles. Amen.