November 13

1 Thessalonians 5:6-11

“Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing.” vs. 11

Paul loved the people of Thessalonica and encouraged them to stand firm in faith and not be discouraged by Christ’s failure to return as they had hoped. They weren’t going to miss out on salvation no matter what happened. That assurance was theirs by grace and couldn’t be taken away. Having said that, he goes on to recommend encouragement as a central part of their life together in the body of Christ. As we deal in our time with the challenges of pandemic fatigue, election uncertainty, and rampant conspiracy theories, we can give Paul a big “Amen.” There is so much discouragement and anxiety among us, and it’s hard to see any signs of resolution. One thing that we can do as we tiptoe through the minefields of social engagement is to encourage one another to hang in. This is a time for building up and not tearing down. Even if we have different political views we serve the same Christ–we are all children of God, and we yearn for words of affirmation. We need to hear that we are loved and cared for–and that we’ve lived good lives and are decent people. There’s plenty of negativity around, and it can bring us to our knees in a heartbeat. The promises of God will be fulfilled–salvation belongs to us. And even as we wait for its fruition, there’s plenty of loving to be done.

Thought for the Day: How can I build up a negative person?

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