When life gets difficult, it’s easy to forget who we are—what we’re really about. We need a better way to move past the noise of our pain and our confusion. Paul suggested this better way in his second letter to the Thessalonians.
Read 2 Thessalonians 2:13–17. Reflect on 2 Thessalonians 2:15:
“So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter” (NIV).
Paul knew that the Thessalonian Christians were experiencing great persecution (2 Thessalonians 1:4). They were also struggling theologically—many of them were being misled (2 Thessalonians 2:1–4). It’s within this context that Paul tells them to stand firm. Paul knows that only truly Christian teachings—his teachings—will lead them out of their time of despair and spiritual deception.
At first, Paul’s words can seem trite. Will they really help when we’re losing our way? Will they really help us find a way forward? I think they will. Here’s why.
Paul himself knew deep pain and loss. He had suffered greatly for the sake of the gospel (2 Corinthians 11:16–29). Furthermore, Paul had a drastic conversion into Christianity; he went from being a persecutor of the church to being its proponent (Acts 8:1–3; 9:1–31). Paul’s words to Thessalonian Christians were rooted in experience.
We need to stand firm in our faith. We need to ground ourselves in the teachings of the Bible. We need to remind ourselves, over and over again, of the truth. No matter how bad things get, no matter how much pain, no matter how much persecution, God can always guide us unto him and his ways. But to understand his ways, we need biblical teachings front and center in our lives.
What are some practical steps you can take to increase the amount of time you spend in prayer and the Bible? What difficulties are you facing today—and what truths from Scripture speak into those difficulties? Drop me a comment, I would love to hear from you.
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