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Take Heart

The Upper Room Devotion for Friday, May 17, 2024, was written by Mike C. Bertoglio of Georgia.



29 His disciples said, “Yes, now you are speaking plainly, not in any figure of speech! 30 Now we know that you know all things, and do not need to have anyone question you; by this we believe that you came from God.” 31 Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? 32 The hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each one to his home, and you will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me. 33 I have said this to you, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you face persecution. But take courage; I have conquered the world!”

John 16:29-33 NRSV


Author's Thoughts

On a recent family trip to Florida, we had a week of beautiful weather. But then the governor declared a statewide emergency because Hurricane Ian was on its way. I could feel my anxiety level rising. People who lived in the area began to talk of evacuation before the storm's predicted arrival in three days. I was thankful we were leaving that day and would be long gone before the storm arrived. But I wondered: What must it be like for people who live here permanently to be in a constant state of anxiety during the hurricane season?

I live far from tornado and hurricane zones. But at the same time, life has many "storms" waiting in the wings most of the time. We get news of the latest calamity, Famines, floods, and fires fill the television screen. Will we have enough water, food, or even money in the future? But Jesus reminds us, "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." We too can be overcomers when we give our worry and fear to God (see 1 Pet. 5:7). Doing so, we can live in peace, trusting that whatever happens God will guide, comfort, and strengthen us hour by hour, and day by day.


Pastor Anthony's Thoughts


I invite you to re-read Mike's reflection, reminding yourself that God is with you through every storm, offering you peace and hope.


Author's Prayer

O Lord, help us to live without fear, knowing that though storms will come, you are with us. Amen.


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