1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 (TPT) God’s Times and Seasons
1Now, beloved brothers and sisters, concerning the question of God’s precise times and specific seasons [epoch periods of time], you don’t need me to write anything to you. 2 For you already know quite well that the day of the Lord will come unexpectedly and as a complete surprise. 3 For while some are saying, “Finally we have peace and security,” sudden destruction will arrive at their doorstep, like labor pains seizing a pregnant woman—and with no chance of escape!
4 But you, beloved brothers and sisters, are not living in the dark, allowing that day to creep up on you like a thief coming to steal. 5 For you are all children of the light and children of the day. We don’t belong to the night nor to darkness. 6 This is why we must not fall asleep, as the rest do, but keep wide awake and clearheaded. 7 For those who are asleep sleep the night away, and drunkards get drunk at night. 8 But since we belong to the day, we must stay alert and clearheaded by placing the breastplate of faith and love over our hearts, and a helmet of the hope of salvation over our thoughts.[believers are on the battlefield for faithfulness and love each day] 9 For God has not destined us for wrath but to possess salvation through our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One. 10 He gave his life for us so that we may share in resurrection life in union with him—whether we’re awake [living] or asleep [have faced physical death in Christ]. 11 Because of this, encourage the hearts of your fellow believers and support one another, just as you have already been doing.
We all need to feel safe and secure; it is a basic human need. We need to feel secure physically, as well as mentally and emotionally. When we face uncertain times, our human inclination is to feel insecure and vulnerable. Let’s be honest, we all want to feel like we have control over our lives because then we feel more safe, right? When we feel safe we thrive and flourish, but when we face uncertainty we are using everything in our power to find or create a place where we do feel secure. There are no physical places that are always “safe.” Since we cannot control all things, we must attach ourselves in healthy and strong—Rock solid—relationships with believers who will stand with us, cover us with love, and reveal to us the genuine security found only in Christ.
In our passage today, the Apostle Paul reminds the church at Thessalonica about facing times of uncertainty and insecurity. According to history, Thessalonica faced a prolonged siege during the Macedonian Wars and later became the capital of the Roman Province in Macedonia. In time, Thessalonica became a “free city” but in reality the Roman government controlled everything. During Paul’s second missionary journey, this city became one of the early centers for Christianity, but it remained a difficult place to live filled with uncertainties for believers. Paul reminds them not to fall for the false peace and security being offered by the Roman government.
The world’s idea of peace is very different from God’s shalom [peace]. In God’s peace, there is not only well being but there is wholeness of the human soul—forged by faith in connection with Christ. The world can only bring fleeting security, because human power and endeavors can never last long in a sinful world. Evil will always rob human-led efforts. But, believers are connected to the Rock who is all-powerful and never shifts in faithfulness or love. If we are standing with Christ, even in our weakness we are strong in the power of his might! (2 For 12:9). We can face any uncertainty knowing we are truly eternally safe in his strength. Remember, the Father destined us to possess salvation and live in resurrected power and life in Christ. Be encouraged; however, be informed. You will never be able to find lasting security in this sinful world’s systems. Wake up and remain standing on the Rock—the victorious Cornerstone of divine strength.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for revealing your unmatched strength through human weakness. Believers are containers of your grace and power and your strength is made perfect when we are too weak to deliver ourselves. This lesson reminds me of when the Israelites were being pursued by the Egyptians and found themselves at the edge of the Red Sea with no perceived escape. Your power and strength made a way then, and your power and strength will make a way for believers now. Be with every human being around the world and make a way for salvation and deliverance from evil. I praise you for your perfect power and love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.