Keep the Faith

So then, putting away falsehood, let all of us speak the truth to our neighbors, for we are members of one another. Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not make room for the devil. Thieves must give up stealing; rather let them labor and work honestly with their own hands, so as to have something to share with the needy. Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear. and do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with which you were marked with a seal for the day of redemption. Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:25-32 (NRSV)

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Matthew 5: 4 (NRSV)

Anabela Couto de Castro Valente is from Luanda, Angola. She was raised in a Christian family, but she did not cultivate the habits of daily prayer or church attendance during her childhood.

After age 20, she began to embrace habits like praying, reading the Bible and other religious books, and reflecting with others on the Christian life. At that time, Anabela also learned the importance of serving, tithing, and contributing to church work. As she deepened her reading of scripture, she strengthened her faith, became closer to God, and improved her character.

However, she has been unable to advance her career. Anabela feels she has been repeatedly passed over for promotions and misunderstood. But in spite of this, she has not lost her faith or the habits of praying, doing good to others, and fulfilling God's will. Thanks to these practices, Anabela has been able to endure all these difficulties. When we face challenges, we can be strengthened by the love and mercy of our faithful God.

Prayer: Dear God, help us to endure tribulations and keep our faith firm in you, in Jesus' name, amen.

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