One thing 2020 has revealed to me is that I had no idea how quickly the entire world could change in a relatively short time.
I used to read prophecies about the end times and couldn’t fathom how any force could unify every single nation on the planet, but this pandemic has shown me at least one means by which we can all be affected at the same time.
Travel, politics, ministry, community, family have been upended. It has been amazing to watch how people have adapted in such a short time to an entirely new paradigm for doing life. It has enhanced divisions and conflict.
Truth, lies, conspiracies, suppositions, misunderstandings, misrepresentations, misconceptions, censorship of information have collided as we have turned to the internet as our source of communication.
So when I read Paul’s words to the church in Thessalonica, I can apply them quite easily to the world that swirls around me as we journey one day closer to Christmas and one day closer to Christ’s return.
Now brothers and sisters, we do not need to write to you about times and dates. You know very well that the day the Lord comes again will be a surprise, like a thief that comes in the night. While people are saying, “We have peace and we are safe,” they will be destroyed quickly. It is like the pains that come quickly to a woman having a baby. Those people will not escape.”1 Thessalonians 5: 1-3
These are not comforting words, my friend. They are unsettling, but Paul offers this hope.
But you, brothers and sisters, are not living in darkness, and so that day will not surprise you like a thief. You are all people who belong to the light and to the day, we do not belong to the night or to the darkness.1 Thessalonians 5: 4-5
Paul calls the Church in that day, and through time eternal, to the Church today to remember who we are. We are people of light and truth. We carry within us the Hope of Christ.
The world is indeed dark and no vaccine, political outcome, stimulus package, health care system, end-to-all-our-current-woe’s fix of human thinking is going to save us permanently. There will always be a next thing as the earth continues to wear out.
There are things that will help. God has given us tools to relieve suffering and to live generously, but we do not find our hope in the minds and efforts of men and women but in Christ alone.
Ultimately, Christ will return and He will once and for all make things new and right. In the meantime we are to live with self-control, alert and looking for opportunities to share the Gospel. We are to encourage other believers to stay the course.
But we belong to the day, so we should control ourselves. We should wear faith and love to protect us, and the hope of salvation should be our helmet.1 Thessalonians 5: 8
This is our clothing, friends. The reference reminds us of the armor of God outlined in Ephesians.
Today, let us place our hands over our hearts and remember that God is protecting us with His faith and love Then place our hands over our heads and remember to let the confidence of our salvation protect our minds from the confusion and chaos around us.
May the God of Peace keep you safe and secure and may you share, through your words and your actions, the Hope of His salvation in all you do until He returns <3