Joy Beyond Circumstances

April 8, 2013

Today’s Reflection

AFTER TWO DECADES of working for the same company, my husband gave up the security of a regular paycheck to start his own business. Reassured by his work ethic and passion, I supported his decision and felt a rush of enthusiasm about this new adventure—until that first Friday without a paycheck and the two months of Fridays that followed. Too quickly I went from a woman ready to tackle an adventure to a woman ready to crack under the weight of worry. What if we had to take out a second mortgage on our home? What if we ran out of food?

I’d long believed my joy came from my relationship with God—nothing more, nothing less. When our temporary financial drought sapped my enthusiasm and parched my spirit, I realized my joy had been secure only as long as my circumstances remained controlled and manageable….

Joy predicated on worldly belongsings can change in a moment with an unexpected phone call, a bill in the mail, or a doctor’s appointment. Confidence in God’s presence and love weathers any circumstance, standing true through this lifetime and into eternity.

-Michelle Cushatt
The Upper Room Disciplines 2012

“From “Life-changing Joy,” devotions for April 16–22, 2012, by Michelle Cushatt, in The Upper Room Disciplines 2012: A Book of Daily Devotions. Copyright © 2011 by Upper Room Books. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books.
“http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book. Or join the conversation at http://books.upperroom.org/blog.

Today’s Question

When have you been afraid and how have you overcome that fear? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and his sight was restored. Then he got up and was baptized.

Acts 9:18, NRSV

This Week: pray those who have no home. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section below.

Did You Know?

Need a Spiritual Retreat? Join us at SOULfeast, the Upper Room’s spiritual retreat at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center in the beautiful Smoky Mountains, July 14-18, 2013. Come discover how, as the Holy Spirit washes over us, this powerful presence brings us alive to God, community, transformation, and missions in the here and now. For more information, visit soulfeast.upperroom.org.

Saints, Inc.:

This week we remember
Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
(April 9).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2013, a ministry of GBOD | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

robert moeller April 8, 2013 at 4:00 am

Within the past two years I have been worried about how I would support someone going to college, finances were very tight. Prayer helped immensely, I still had tight finances but I had the conviction that things would work out and my worry subsided.

Lord, guide us in helping those who have no home. This coming week we will have an opportunity to help Habitat for Humanity, guide our decision on what to do.

Lord, may everyone in whatever relationship or lack of relationship they have with you be strengthened, encouraged, lifted up so that all of your creation will praise your name and give thanks. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

I pray for Anneliese who is expecting knee replacement surgery this month, hopefully sooner than later. May the surgery be successful. Thank you Lord, Amen.

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Ceda April 8, 2013 at 6:03 am

I pray for all caretakers today as they step forward in faith and courage to take care of their loved ones. In Jesus name. Amen

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Jay April 8, 2013 at 6:43 am

When I’m scared, it always brings me great peace to simply pray, “Father, your will be done. Show me the way and I will follow.”

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Gary April 8, 2013 at 8:32 am

I’ve been suddenly & unexpectedly unemployed many, many times in my life. And, through all of life’s stresses I have found the mantra: “Lord, I believe. Help Thou my unbelief.” a very soothing balm for my weak moments.

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Wendy Wright April 8, 2013 at 8:51 am

Yup sit here ready to tackle the world and its influence in my life with major financial issues.

I know that nothing will overcome my world unless I allow it. I do not allow it. My God has everything under control and he does not need my help. He wants to work through me. I have food and shelter today and the rest is luxury problems.

Thank you God for showing me this wisdom of letting ti go so you can come into my life and work miracles. For today I am a miracle !

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Mary Ng Shwu Ling May 12, 2013 at 6:33 pm

When I am afraid, God’s word is a source of comfort and prayer. Knowing that God is always with us and that He does not sleep nor abandon us is an assurance that helps me overcome my fears.

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