1 Thessalonians 5:4-6 | We always, ALWAYS begin with the who: Who are you? How do you know? This world and its prince spend all of their resources telling the lie that what you do determines who you are. God’s Word refutes this! Who you are is determined by God! You are SONS (both male and female), which means HEIRS of the Kingdom! This means you are free of the claims of the world and its illegitimate ruler: you belong to the LIGHT!
So then, it is not how you look, it is how you see!
1 Thessalonians 5:8 | We are the people of God’s Promises, destined to stand in the face of the accusations of the evil one. He attacks and we stand. We put on the suit of armor which consists of His Promises! See also Ephesians 6:10-18.
1 Thessalonians 5:9-10 | The evil one will always twist the truth, seeking to get us to distrust God. His goal is to get us to think that God is evil. This is why we must always look upon Jesus: Jesus on the cross…when all seemed lost. We can always see God clearly when we look at the cross. So much of our lives are lived on the “Good Friday” side of things. We only see the suffering. We only see the accusations. We only see death. This is when we pray. We pray from the foot of the cross, trusting the Promises: Jesus said He would rise. Even though while we live and experience so much at the foot of the cross, always pray from the perspective of the Empty Tomb! See also 1 Corinthians 15:50-58.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 & Colossians 4:2-6 | Prayer is this mystery where we not only are given strength to press on but where we also participate in the actual pushing back of the darkness. For as we are strengthened, as we are filled with the Spirit’s power, we then love one another, caring for and reaching out for all of those around us! This is how we make a difference in the things that matter most.
Colossians 4:12 & 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 | Learn the lesson of Epaphras: Prayer is the most powerful action you can take! Always wrestle in prayer! Keep struggling. Keep fighting. Don’t believe the accusations. Don’t believe the mockery. Trust the power of the King, who does not advance His Kingdom by destroying but by building. By taking what is destroyed, and restoring, by taking what is dead and resurrecting: He is the King of light, the King of love, the King of hope: He is faithful, and He will do it.
Dig Deeper: Daniel 9:20-23, Matthew 7:7-12, Matthew 9:21-22, Luke 18:1-8, John 8:31-59, 1 Peter 4:1-11, James 5:13-20.