Stand Firm

For we wanted to come to you—certainly I, Paul, did, again and again—but Satan
stopped us.
1 Thessalonians 2:18

Last year was one of the most difficult years of my life while enduring ongoing and worsening health issues surrounding my beloved husband and brother. Several months before the medical journeys began, God led me to a Bible study on spiritual warfare. I tried to wiggle my way out of it, but my Savior knew I was on the threshold of experiencing new types of brokenness and vulnerability—new enemy territory.

On my first day in class, our leader asked us to stand and sing Amazing Grace. Forever etched in my memory is the astounding presence of the Holy Spirit in the room. I am convinced that her decision to ask us to stand up was a visual memoir.

Over time, we were able to remove our—I’m Okay— masks. We grew to trust each other. We learned that we must admit that we live in a fallen world and are surrounded with potential evil schemes. (Ephesians 6:12)

While shoulder to shoulder, we listened to each other and prayed diligently for one another throughout the course. Lasting friendships flourished as we took brave steps forward to study scriptures to use as weapons in battle with the enemy. Our loving team established the name—Sister Warriors.

Paul’s story in 1 Thessalonians is a story about struggles with warfare. While in Athens, Paul realized he would not be able to visit the new converts in Thessalonica. Since Paul had learned to surround himself with other committed teachers of the gospel to protect from gaps occurring in church establishment, Timothy went in his place. Timothy’s good report that the church was growing in love and faith surely brought joy to Paul when he wrote— For now we really live, since you are standing firm in the Lord. (I Thessalonians 3:1,2,8)

Father, thank you for giving Paul the ability to write the many instructions that teach us to enter the battle and stand firm!

Jill Hendrix

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