I went to bed last night in a funk.  Nothing serious, but some things were bothering me and I was out of sorts.  So, of course this morning I woke up a gloomy gus and I didn’t sleep well last night.  On work days I get up with hubby a bit before 4 in the morning and I am trying hard to make it a habit to read the Word while hubby is in the shower or at least read a devotional.  Something to get my eyes where they ought to be and not on all of the other distractions that life manufactures non-stop.  So I sit myself down on the couch and I open up to today’s devotion and this is the title, “The Gloom Index”!  How appropriate is that?!  So I read it and it was exactly what I needed.  It reminded me that although things might be miserable right now, I don’t have to live in gloom.  I can praise the Lord and the chains of misery can slip off.  How easily we forget that when we fall into a “pit of despair”.  How easily I forget it.  So today even though I am troubled by some things, I am going to conciously spend time praising the Lord when despair tries to grab me again.  Because really none of this earthly stuff matters.  Only Jesus, who He is and what He has done and is doing.  The joy of the Lord truly is strength.

16 Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a female slave who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. 17 She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.” 18 She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so annoyed that he turned around and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” At that moment the spirit left her.

 19 When her owners realized that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to face the authorities. 20 They brought them before the magistrates and said, “These men are Jews, and are throwing our city into an uproar 21 by advocating customs unlawful for us Romans to accept or practice.”

 22 The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten with rods. 23 After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. 24 When he received these orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.

 25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose.  Acts 16:16-26

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