1 Thessalonians 3:2 …we sent Timothy, our brother and co-worker for God in proclaiming the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you for the sake of your faith, 3 so that no one would be shaken by these persecutions. Indeed, you yourselves know that this is what we are destined for. 4 In fact, when we were with you, we told you beforehand that we were to suffer persecution; so it turned out, as you know. 5 For this reason, when I could bear it no longer, I sent to find out about your faith; I was afraid that somehow the tempter had tempted you and that our labor had been in vain.
Paul was concerned that the Christians in Thessalonica might fall away from the faith while enduring persecutions. He even named “the tempter” as one who might encourage their change of heart. Ah yes… the Tempter.
The Tempter was present in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve telling them it was no big deal to eat the forbidden fruit. He was with Jesus in the wilderness tempting Jesus to take matters into his own hands rather than depend on God the Father. He even promised Jesus all the kingdoms of the world if he would only bend the knee and swear allegiance to him.
I have no doubt the Tempter was with Jesus again in the Garden of Gethsemane on the night Jesus was betrayed. I expect he was whispering in Jesus’ ear “You know you don’t have to do this. Save yourself.” The Tempter is a master at whispering in our ears in our moment of need and/or vulnerability. Questions I’m asking myself this morning:
Where am I being tempted today?
How is the Tempter helping me rationalize sin, telling me it’s no big deal?
Lord Jesus, the Tempter never rests. Ever. He is always at work trying to draw Christians away from you. Give us grace to stay faithful when in our moments of weakness and vulnerability. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.