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The Upper Room Devotion for Monday, May 8, 2023, was written by Selina Machado of Blantyre, Malawi.



30 This God—his way is perfect; the promise of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all who take refuge in him. 31 For who is God except the Lord? And who is a rock besides our God? — 32 the God who girded me with strength, and made my way safe. 33 He made my feet like the feet of a deer, and set me secure on the heights. 34 He trains my hands for war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. 35 You have given me the shield of your salvation, and your right hand has supported me; your help has made me great. 36 You gave me a wide place for my steps under me, and my feet did not slip.

Psalm 18:30-36 NRSV



Watching TV and spending time on social media were starting to have a negative effect on me. Everywhere I looked, I seemed to find bad news – People infected by a disease, a recent earthquake, a shooting, people who had recently lost their lives. With each passing day, fear and worry began to creep into my mind. Eventually, I found it hard to leave my house. My emotions were fluctuating, but I seemed to be heading more toward sadness.

My “faith tank” was getting low, and I asked myself: What should I be giving my attention to instead? The one thing that helped me was listening to God’s word. Day by day, I began spending more time studying scripture; I listened to sermons and teachings; I sang and dance along to worship music. Although I did not experience an instant change, I kept at it. The more I listened to God’s word, the better I felt and the more confident I became. With time, the fear and heaviness left. Spending time with God’s word can help move us beyond our fears and is always worthwhile.




2 Timothy 1:7 state: “7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” Looking at the state of our world and nation, it would be easy to give in to fear and despair. Yet, God has infused within our hearts a spark of hope and courage to face the darkness with confidence. May we all lean in to God’s spirit of power, love, and self-discipline to help us overcome our fears.

-Pastor Anthony



Merciful God, we thank you for your word, which builds us up and dispels our fear. Thank you for the loving protection you provide. Amen.

- Selina Machado


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