Pray continually. 1 Thessalonians 5:17
Harriet Tubman couldn’t read or write. As an adolescent, she suffered a head injury at the hands of a cruel slave master. That injury caused her to have seizures and lapses of consciousness for the rest of her life. But once she escaped slavery, God used her to rescue as many as three hundred others.
Nicknamed “Moses” by those she freed, Harriet bravely made nineteen trips back to the pre-Civil War South to rescue others. She continued even when there was a price on her head and her life was in constant danger. A devoted believer in Jesus, she carried a hymnal and a Bible on every trip and had others read her verses, which she committed to memory and quoted often. “I prayed all the time,” she said, “about my work, everywhere; I was always talking to the Lord.” She also gave God credit for the smallest successes. Her life was a powerful expression of the apostle Paul’s instruction to the earliest Christians: “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16–18).
When we lean into God in the moment and live dependently in prayer, praising Him despite our difficulties, He gives us the strength to accomplish even the most challenging tasks. Our Savior is greater than anything we face, and He will lead us as we look to Him.
How does spending time in God’s presence make you stronger? In what ways will you “lean into Him” today?
Loving and Almighty God, please help me to live every moment with You today and to receive the strength You alone can give.
A fitting title for Paul’s first epistle to the Thessalonians might be “The Must-Read Letter.” Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 5:27: “I charge you before the Lord to have this letter read to all the brothers and sisters.” Paul wanted first-century believers in Jesus to embrace his Spirit-inspired instruction. And his timeless teaching continues to benefit believers today. Among other things, the book of Thessalonians can be viewed as a “primer on eschatology” (the biblical doctrine that concerns “last things”). Each of the five chapters includes information related to Christ’s return. Commentator William Hendriksen notes: “It is a well-known fact that in 1 Thessalonians every chapter ends with a reference to the second coming. See 1:10; 2:19, 20; 3:11–13; 4:13–18; 5:23, 24.” We must not lose sight of the day when Jesus will return and rule as the righteous Judge. Reading and following 1 Thessalonians will help prepare us for that day.