Scripture Reading: I Thessalonians 2:17-20

“But since we were torn away from you, brothers, for a short time, in person not in heart, we endeavored the more eagerly and with great desire to see you face to face, because we wanted to come to you — I, Paul, again and again — but Satan hindered us.” (I Thessalonians 2:17,18)

When Paul and Silas visited the believers in Thessalonica, they met much opposition. In fact they had to be sent away by night (Acts 17:10). After they left, some of their opponents tried to convince these new believers that the missionaries did not have a genuine concern for them. Paul wrote this letter to assure them how much he cared for them and longed to see them face to face, but Satan hindered him from returning.

I’m afraid that we don’t fully realize how hostile Satan is towards the gospel. He wants to do anything he can to prevent the gospel from having an impact on people. He is like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour (I Peter 5:8). He accuses us, tempts us, and seeks to convince us that we aren’t loved and accepted by God. He discourages and hinders those who are serious about their faith. He throws his fiery darts at us (Ephesians 6:16). We must remember that “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).

Satan has his evil schemes that divide, cause us to doubt, hinder us from effective ministry and discourage us. We must heed the warning about him — “Be sober-minded, be watchful…Resist him, firm in your faith” (I Peter 5:8,9).

Lord Jesus Christ, I know that You have already ultimately defeated Satan. I pray that You give me strength to resist him when he temps me and hinders me from bringing glory to You. I know the battle is great, but I know that You will protect me and strengthen me against the schemes of the evil one.


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