He Will Make You Ready [1 Thessalonians 5]

For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. 3While they are saying, "Peace and safety!" then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape.4But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief;5for you are all sons of light and sons of day We are not of night nor of darkness;6so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober.

Whenever I see the words "the day of the Lord," I automatically think of disaster of epic proportions and then a wave of anxiety washes over me. Already, I hear of disasters in the news so often, that they barely surprise me, but in the recesses of my mind, I am reminded that there is a day coming when the disasters will shake the earth and the heavens and produce worldwide destruction and death. And then, I read passages like 1 Thessalonians 5 that spell out the details of the coming day of the Lord that will make all of the things we have seen so far seem like nothing in comparison. How am I to live with that sort of future looming over me?

The key is focus. I can focus on the disaster, on my fear for myself and my family, on making myself live right to be ready or, I can fix my eyes on Jesus the author and finisher of my faith (Hebrews 12:2). I can exchange my fear for His faith and trust in Him to take care of me and to make me ready for whatever is to come.

When I structured (broke the sentences into phrases) 1 Thessalonians 5 and marked God, I was able to get my focus on Him and what He is going to do for me to make me ready.

9For God
     has not destined us
         for wrath,
             but for obtaining salvation
                through our Lord Jesus Christ,
                    10who died for us,
                        so that whether we are
                            or asleep,
                                we will live together
                                    with Him.

23Now may the God of peace Himself
    sanctify you entirely;
 and may
    your spirit
    and soul
    and body
        be preserved complete,
             without blame
                at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
24Faithful is He
     who calls you,
 and He also
     will bring it to pass

A day of the Lord is coming, but as you focus on God, and put your trust in Him to take care of you, your fears will be replaced with His love, strength and courage to live well and to encourage the people around you to be ready for the day.

We praise you, Lord that You are the One who will make us ready for the coming day. Cause us to focus on you and to surrender our fears so that we may be made ready for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Beth Warlick, 5/25/2009