1 Thessalonians 5:23 (English Standard Version)
Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ
The toll the pandemic has taken on many of us has been more than physical. In fact, the emotional effects are now being realized in the elderly in nursing homes and school-aged children forced to virtual learning. Medical professionals have acknowledged that many of the deaths from COVID may not have occurred if families and friends had been allowed to visit.
The Thessalonians congregation faced uncertainties concerning the time frame of Jesus’ return. Their expectation had not been realized. Paul wrote to calm their fears, ensuring them that their salvation was secure.
However, Paul understood that his letter needed to do more than ensure them that their souls would be saved; he also wanted them to understand that God was concerned about the whole person. So, Paul prayed that God would sanctify (set apart) them to Himself in every area of their lives.
God’s Word for today provokes us to think beyond concern for our physical being. The vaccine may be a blessing, and the CDC guidelines are effective, but neither can heal a depressed spirit or uplift a crushed soul.
The Word of God is medicine for the spirit, but fellowship can be water for a thirsty soul. We need to encourage each other. And while we may not be able to physically fellowship, we can use whatever means available to reach out to other church members. From personal experience, it is like fuel to an empty tank. It keeps you going. Encourage someone today!