To the Thessalonians Paul writes that God will strengthen and protect them from the evil one. This promise and assurance applies to all who follow Jesus.
This excites and comforts me, because I want to be protected.
But that’s only half the of the promise. The other part is that we will be strengthened.
To be protected is passive; it is easy and safe.
To be strengthened is more active; it reminds us that we will undergo trials, temptations, and attacks from the enemy — and for this, we will be made strong in order to withstand it.
Standing strong is not easy or safe; it is hard and risky. But we don’t need to endure it alone, for God gives us the strength we need.