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The Upper Room Devotion for Friday April 5, 2024, was written by Sylvia Engen Espe of Alberta, Canada.



14 When they came to the disciples, they saw a great crowd around them, and some scribes arguing with them. 15 When the whole crowd saw him, they were immediately overcome with awe, and they ran forward to greet him. 16 He asked them, “What are you arguing about with them?” 17 Someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought you my son; he has a spirit that makes him unable to speak; 18 and whenever it seizes him, it dashes him down; and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid; and I asked your disciples to cast it out, but they could not do so.” 19 He answered them, “You faithless generation, how much longer must I be among you? How much longer must I put up with you? Bring him to me.” 20 And they brought the boy to him. When the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. 21 Jesus asked the father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. 22 It has often cast him into the fire and into the water, to destroy him; but if you are able to do anything, have pity on us and help us.” 23 Jesus said to him, “If you are able!—All things can be done for the one who believes.” 24 Immediately the father of the child cried out, “I believe; help my unbelief!” 25 When Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You spirit that keeps this boy from speaking and hearing, I command you, come out of him, and never enter him again!” 26 After crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, “He is dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he was able to stand. 28 When he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” 29 He said to them, “This kind can come out only through prayer.”

Mark 9:14-29 NRSV


Author's Thoughts

"My legs feel numb, Mom," exclaimed my 14-year-old doughter. "They have felt numb for the past month." The diagnosis was multiple sclerosis - a neurological disease involving the nervous system. Periods of blindness and loss of mobility were difficult to endure for a young girl who enjoyed an active life. Steroids were effective, but came with side effects.

As a widowed mother, I felt alone and forlorn. My dreams for my doughter seemed to crumble before me. However, my daughter maintained her zeal for life and continued to live each day with a cheerful smile. She accepted her diagnosis more quickly than I did.

I soon realized that only Chirst could replace my desperation with peace. God has not promised us a life free from stress and worry, but God will never leave us. When we bring our worries to God and trust that God can carry us through life's storms, our joy need not fluctuate with our circumstances. God is waiting for us to hand our worries over so that we can find peace.


Thought for the Day

When I face turbulent waters, God never leave nor forsakes me.


Author's Prayer

Dear Lord, help us to rejoice and to trust you in all circumstances. Amen.


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