10 Instructions for Living Holy in Dark Days
10 Instructions for Living Holy in Dark Days
Michelle Rabon iBelieve Contributor
How can believers live holy lives during such dark times? Christians through history have experienced dark and oppressive times. And we are left with the same instructions that carried their faith through such trials.
I have attempted for many years to try and keep my kids from making the same mistakes I made. For most of us our parenting style falls in the same lines; keep our kids from doing the same stupid things we did.
The early Church is delivering a parenting lesson to the Church of our generation.
The greatest lessons we can learn for our lives come directly from Scripture. These are the very case studies we should live by. The Epistles are the best place to do this in my opinion. They are rich with applicable teaching and lessons that our Church today can apply to our spiritual walk.
Paul spent much of his life encouraging, correcting, and proclaiming the gospel. We should drink deep from the words he offers.
The atmosphere in Thessalonica was not friendly to the Christian church, in fact, it came at great persecution and cost to believers.
The church was discouraged and disappointed in the darkness.
In his letter to the Thessalonians, we see that believers were wrapped up in concern about the day of the Lord rather than focusing on holy living. Paul is reminding them of the finished work of the cross, as well as encouraging them to live holy in light of that.
Paul goes on to the end of his first letter to the Thessalonians to give instruction that not only benefits them but also us. These are reminders for holy living when the days seem dark and impossible.
1. Be at peace among yourselves.
Paul was encouraging them to be at peace with each other within the community of believers. There will always be tensions and places where we may not agree with each other but we must seek to live at peace. If we cannot be at peace with each other how can we ever expect to live in peace with others?
2. Warn those who are idle.
Laziness goes against the scriptural mandate of our responsibility to God’s creation. We are made to be workers, not idle.
3. Comfort the discouraged.
Many of the believers were discouraged by the ongoing persecution. A life lived in constant darkness and difficulty can weigh us down, but we are to be a comfort to each other so that we can continue to press on for the gospel.
4. Help the weak, be patient with everyone.
There were many in the Thessalonian church who were filled with anxiety and grief. Sounds familiar to us. As the body of Christ, we should be coming alongside those who are experiencing great anxiety and encourage them.
Be patient with those who are suffering, grieving, anxious, tired, and weary. We must be patient with each other as we navigate the roads in front of us. Our first response to people can be frustration or anger, but we are called to patience. We are called to be encouragers to our brothers and sisters in Christ.
5. See to it no one repays evil for evil, pursue what is good.
We are quick to take judgment into our own hands but repaying evil with more evil is not the design or plan of God. God is judge and jury. His justice will be fulfilled and His wrath will be satisfied. We do not have to repay evil acts, God will bring justice about in His time.
6. Rejoice always.
A simple command, but one that we struggle to execute. Our first response in trouble is to complain. We rarely rejoice when the darkness takes over, who would? We should. As believers, we are called to rejoice even in times of tribulation. We know we can rejoice because things will work for good. We know that God will be glorified in all things.
7. Pray constantly.
This is the posture Paul wanted the believers in Thessalonica to have: a posture of prayer. Prayer puts us in a position of dependence. He knew from his own experience the days may never get easier. The persecution may never stop, the troubles would continue to come, but they should live in dependence on God for all that is to come. Praying continually keeps us all in a place of dependence, a place where God can work, move, and change our hearts.
8. Give thanks in everything.
Christians are marked by thankfulness, especially thankfulness when difficult seasons come. It's because we have our hearts and minds set in the right place — Christ. We can give thanks because the battle is won, the victory is secured even when we face troubles in this life.
9. Don’t stifle the spirit. Don’t despise prophecies, but test everything.
We stifle the Holy Spirit when we do not allow Him to work in our lives. When we are disobedient, out of the will of God, or living in sinfulness as believers we are stifling the Spirit. The Thessalonians were doing this by not exercising the gift of prophecy. Some were not testing the prophecies they were given to see if they were in fact true. We must allow the Spirit room to work, we cannot stifle Him with our disobedient behavior.
10. Hold fast to what is good. Stay away from every kind of evil.
One of the last exhortations Paul gives is the reminder to hold fast to what is good and refrain from evil. In other words to live holy as God is holy. We hold fast to truth, we walk in faith and we seek to live rightly.
Paul is seeking to encourage believers to walk rightly in this life. The instructions that he leaves us with gives us guidance in how we too should walk in dark days when we are worn down. We are to encourage other believers who are walking with us, and we should live holy as God is holy.
Scripture gives us the perfect example of how we are to live and respond in the dark times. Paul’s instructions are clear: rejoice, pray, encourage, be at peace, and walk holy as God is holy.
Photo Credit: © Unsplash/Jon Tyson
Michelle Rabon is a wife and homeschooling mom of three who feels called to help women thrive in their walk with Jesus every day. In 2012, she started Displaying Grace, a ministry that is focused on helping women engage with God’s Word. Michelle has also served in women’s ministry for the past five years seeking to equip women in the local church through Bible study. When she is not writing or teaching, she enjoys reading, being close to the ocean, and drinking a lot of coffee.
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