1 Thessalonians 2:17-20
17 Brothers and sisters, we were separated from you for a short time. Apart from you, we were like children without parents. We were no longer with you in person. But we kept you in our thoughts. We really wanted to see you. So we tried very hard to do so. 18 We wanted to come to you. Again and again I, Paul, wanted to come. But Satan blocked our way. 19 What is our hope? What is our joy? When our Lord Jesus returns, what is the crown we will delight in? Isn’t it you? 20 Yes, you are our glory and our joy.
How do I recognise the hideous work of Satan in my circumstances? How do I discern spiritual attack over other negative influences like depression, fatigue, illness or the consequences of my own bad choices?
Maybe Paul gives us a clue in verse 19. The Church in Thessalonica was Paul’s joy and hope. But Paul was prevented from seeing the people that brought him joy and hope. His joy was “stolen” from him and he diagnosed the perpetrator as Satan himself – the one who steals and kills and destroys (John 10:10).
I need to be more aware of Satan’s schemes. When I feel my joy getting stolen from me, that’s when I must resist the Devil in the name of Jesus and watch him flee. (James 4:7)
Dear Jesus, help me remember that You are the ultimate source of hope and joy. My “strong tower” – I’ll run to You and be safe.
Written by Boudy van Noppen