Day 4

Stand Firm in the Lord

from the 1 & 2 Thessalonians reading plan


1 Thessalonians 3:1-13, Matthew 4:1-11, Romans 8:16-21

BY Guest Writer

Scripture Reading: 1 Thessalonians 3:1-13, Matthew 4:1-11, Romans 8:16-21

I enjoy being alone. If I’m honest, I should go ahead and admit that it’s actually one of my favorite things to do. After a busy weekend or a house full of activity, I long for a quiet space, large window, soft blanket, and a cup of hot goodness. This is my happy place, and I could stay there for what seems like forever. I am especially prone to long for my alone time when my outward circumstances weigh heavily on my brain and my heart longs for an escape. 

 I often joke that I just want to sleep it—whatever “it” may be—off. In my ideal world, when things are not going my way, when suffering comes and danger knocks on my door, I simply want to retreat, disappear, and not return until all is well again. And I’d prefer to do this alone.

Though being alone provides a much-needed space to quiet the noise and refocus my thoughts, something dangerous can happen when I retreat to my happy place in order to avoid the discomforts of my reality.  I create an open space for fear to grow, an inviting environment for lies to build and pain to settle in. It becomes easy to lose sight of truth, and I inevitably pull further and further away from Christ. 

I know that it is during these times especially that I need to pray and intentionally focus my attention on God’s Word. But can I be honest? In the midst of suffering, this becomes harder and harder to do alone. 

It is during these exact times that I am grateful for my community—friends who will not sit back and watch me sink, but instead will selflessly show up at my door and sit with me. Sometimes they come carrying a load of their own, and our prayers for each become what we both need in order to stand. Whether I want to admit it or not, it is the presence and prayers of others that help keep me secure.

There is danger in suffering alone. But Christ knew this about us; therefore, He has called us to care for, love, and support those around us regardless of our own personal discomforts. He uses our pain, our circumstances, and stories to grow us in both love for Him and for His kingdom. Paul said it this way to the Thessalonians:

So we have been greatly encouraged in the midst of our troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith.”
– 1 Thessalonians 3:7

Clearly, Paul does not avoid the topic of suffering. He knows it all too well. However, he also knows that his ability to love, encourage, and pray for the people around him is directly connected to his dependence on Christ.

When relying on our personal strength to stand, we will surely fall. However, Christ calls us to trust in Him in all circumstances. It is only the outpouring of His love that strengthens us to stand, and encourage those around us. Thanks be to God who knows us better than we know ourselves, and gave us the gift of community. “And may the Lord cause [us] to increase and overflow with love for one another and for everyone” (1 Thessalonians 3:12).

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Wynter Pitts is the founder of For Girls Like You, a resource ministry for both tween girls and their parents. The mother of four girls herself, Wynter’s mission is to empower and equip women of all ages in becoming who God created them to be, and to support parents in raising strong Christ followers. She is the author of several books, including You’re God’s Girl Devotional and She Is Yours: Trusting God As You Raise the Girl He Gave You.  Wynter, her husband Jonathan, and their daughters (ages 7-13) live in Dallas, Texas. Follow her on Instagram @forgirlslikeyou.

Post Comments (79)

79 thoughts on "Stand Firm in the Lord"

  1. Taylor Conant says:

    As a self-proclaimed “outgoing introvert”, I definitely find my happy place in a similar setting, book and coffee in hand. What a great reminder that we are called to community. Being alone and being alone with God fills us up so that we may pour out to others. Too often I let my cup be filled and keep it all to myself. Thanks for this good word!

  2. Emma Brown says:

    …full-time job! Having the faith/trust that is needed to do what God has called you to do, to be His servant…IT IS ALL A FULL-TIME JOB!! It’s a 24/7 Full-time job!!! There’s never a break, never is there a pause-button. (This finishes my previous post)

  3. Emma Brown says:

    We are God’s coworkers! (Verse 2 -ESV) I’ve really never thought it about ‘coworker’ being another name for servant. We serve Him and go where He leads us. As we are His servants, we are His coworkers. As we follow God’s plan for our lives, we are working for/with God. As He has called us to different things, given us certain passions, has a certain plan for each of our lives, we are working for/with Him!! We are following that call He has placed on our hearts, to be His disciples. We are “shouting from the mountain tops” about His mercy, His grace, His never ending love, His goodness, His faithfulness, I could keep going!!!! Through all of that, we are working for God…working to bring others to Jesus, that they would know of the Loving Father, and they would have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
    Being God’s servant/coworker, it’s a full-time job. We can’t just say one day, “I don’t think I’m going to be God’s servant today, somebody else has it.” Um yeah no…hate to burst your bubble, but that just can’t happen. God calls us everyday to be His servant!! Being His servant, brings faith and trust. That also means, that that faith/trust that is needed on the daily, it’s a…

  4. Lindsey Bailey says:

    My husband comes from a large family where they sit around at the table long after the last bite has been taken. They lay on quilts in the yard or sit on rocking chairs on the porch and just enjoy talking with one another. They show up at the funeral no matter how distant the relationship. They visit and sit with the older members of the family. He was actually late to our very first date because he was visiting his great grandparents. They take time for relationships. They have an incredibly strong family bond and very large friend circle. I remember when my husband’s grandfather died. The children and grandchildren sang hymns around his bedside until he drew his last breath. When the man from the funeral home came to take the body, we formed a circle, held hands and prayed as a family. The undertaker was moved to tears. Although he was surely no stranger to death and sadness, his heart was moved by the bond this family shares. Over the years, I have seen how the priority this family places on community and relationships has communicated God’s love in ways simple words could never do. When tragedies and difficulties take place, it is our opportunity as Christ followers to share a piece of God’s love.

  5. Jennica Barnes says:

    I am so glad I read this first thing this morning, rather than filling my head with trash from social media. Bad habit. This gave me clarity this morning. Especially in light of recwnt news headlines.

  6. Hannah Nunn says:

    These past 2 days have been so good. I’m actually going through a trial of intense anxiety right now, and honestly have been trying to walk through it alone. 1 Thessalonians is making me realize I cannot do that! We have to be open about our struggles with the people who are doing life with us, because God will use them and speak through them. There are times when I feel like I can’t hear from the Lord because my anxiety can get so bad, but he uses the people around to speak for him, and 1 Thessalonians is really teaching me to keep close to my community during this time.

    1. K.B. says:

      Hannah,
      I was exactly where you are a year ago!!! I can totally relate! Anxiety is a battle that can feel uniquely taxing…I tried so hard to explain it to my loved ones but no one understood. I remember a friend of mine (my prayer partner) called to check on me and I quickly told her that I was fine and hung up. No one wants to hear about me and my anxiety issues, right? Late that night, I got up to pray and kept feeling the need to tell someone how afraid I was and how challenging this point of my life felt and how prayed that my faith not waiver. I sent a long text message that night to my friend telling her I lied, and sharing EVERYTHING with her. Early the next morning she shared how my honesty blessed her and how her faith was being tested too! I encourage you to be honest with someone who will support you…you’ll not only find love and support where you didn’t expect to, but you may bless someone else with your honesty and testimony! I will be praying for you as well, that the Lord sends you someone to confide in and that He gives you peace during this time.

    2. Jennifer Marvin says:

      May I recommend not only friends and family as support but also a counselor. I ended up going back after many years. He put me back on the right path and prescribed a light box. The light box helped a myriad of problems, including a viscous sleep disorder. Sending you much love.

    3. Jessica L. says:

      I am also going through this very thing, and just last night I told my husband that it helps me get through each “episode” when I reach out and talk about it with him or someone else instead of roughing it alone. It’s very hard to put what I’m going through into words, which is why I tend to struggle alone. But God gives us those who can help bear the burden, and we have to take advantage of that! I needed this encouragement to “stand firm” when I desperately want to give up.

  7. Robin NHendrich says:

    Oh Crystal, I am the very same way! Making adult female friends is so difficult. I notice myself retreating from new female acquaintances when I should probably lean in to them more. It’s so scary! But it is something I have to give God daily and remind myself He wants me to have a community!

  8. Robin NHendrich says:

    Wow, what an incredibly timed devotion for me today.

    Our life group has couple who had to deliver there baby at 28 weeks. They before this had been closed off and had not really opened up to our life even after a year of attending. Through this season for them, I e been so amazed by how open they have become to our community! Their little man is getting strong and big, they are happy to share the good and bad with us all, and are even asking for specific prayers. We are seeing how a community is sharpening their faith in this trying season, praise Jesus!

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