May 27, 2022

We’re Stronger Together

Read I Thessalonians 5:11

This is why you must encourage and help each other, just as you are already doing. (Contemporary English Version)

Studying I Thessalonians 5:11

If you have ever been in a long race or part of something you had to endure for a long while, then you know how it feels as you near the end. In a race your feet may be sore, your legs may be aching or feeling wobbly like Jell-O, feeling like they want to give out from under you. You might start entertaining giving up in your mind; questioning why you are continuing, or what’s the point of your suffering. In our younger years my husband and I would go for long bicycle rides, sometimes challenging ourselves to tackle steep hills or terrains. It was challenging. Especially at the beginning of the summer when our “winter” legs were not yet toned and strengthened. We would start out strong, but as we got closer and closer to the top, somewhere in the middle, we had to encourage one another to keep going. I don’t mind saying I had times I cried and muttered choice words as I pushed forward. Descending was so much easier and fun than going up and pressing those pedals with each turn.

This is what Paul is sharing with readers in his letter to the Thessalonians. Our need for companions, friends, and fellow sojourners to encourage us, pray with and for us, cheer us on, coach and remind us we can make it, is what helps us endure our challenges on this journey. Just like my husband’s voice coaching me to keep going on those grueling bike rides, and mine for him, we all need to have those kind of people in our lives and at our most critical points. They are God-sent and strategically placed to assist us. We need others to do this for us and we need to do it for others.  

Praying I Thessalonians 5:9-11

Father God, may we experience the strong community of faith-filled as we encounter the hard things of life and let us be those kind of people for others. From the beginning you said, “It is not good for people to be alone.” Thank you for making sure we are not alone when trials, suffering, or painful experiences come but have the companionship of the faithful to help us endure and make it through. Amen  

On Your Own: Mediate on Paul’s message and exhortation to believers in I Thessalonians 5:11 as you go through your day.

Go deeper by Reading I Thessalonians 5:9-11

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