Psalm 34:1-11, 17-20 (NRSV)

1 I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth. 2 My soul makes its boast in the Lord; let the humble hear and be glad. 3 O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together. 4 I sought the Lord, and he answered me, and delivered me from all my fears. 5 Look to him, and be radiant; so your faces shall never be ashamed. 6 This poor soul cried, and was heard by the Lord, and was saved from every trouble. 7 The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them. 8 O taste and see that the Lord is good; happy are those who take refuge in him. 9 O fear the Lord, you his holy ones, for those who fear him have no want. 10 The young lions suffer want and hunger, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing. 11 Come, O children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord.   

17 When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears, and rescues them from all their troubles. 18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves the crushed in spirit. 19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord rescues them from them all. 20 He keeps all their bones; not one of them will be broken.   

Psalm 34:17 (NRSV)

17 When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears, and rescues them from all their troubles.

DEVOTION -Jeff Jenkins (North Carolina)

Boyce, a single, teacher-friend, was facing a Thanksgiving alone – his family 2,500 miles away.  So, we invited him to celebrate the day with our family.  Within minutes of arriving, he was in the den with the children, laughing, rolling on the floor, and having a wonderful time.

The following spring, Boyce began to struggle with pronouncing words; he had to focus intently to complete a sentence.  Soon after, he was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease).  His condition deteriorated rapidly, but he continued to communicate via email.  I vividly remember the way his last email began:  I’m having a great day.  I hope you are.”  He described his physical condition:  he no longer could walk or talk.  he could barely raise one finger to slowly and meticulously type that email.  Yet Boyce was having a great day.

I’ve noticed that Boyce and other Christians who seem to be bubbling over with joy and contentment and have a passion for life all share an unwavering faith in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  The joy we seek is available through faith.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Our joy is in the Lord

PRAYER: Almighty God, Help us to understand that joy, contentment, and peace are available to us through faith in you.  Amen.

PRAYER FOCUS:  PEOPLE SUFFERING FROM ALS

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