Together in Christ: 'She Placed Her Hope in God!' — 1 Timothy 5:5-6

Thursday, August 24, 2023

Now a true widow, a woman who is truly alone in this world, has placed her hope in God. She prays night and day, asking God for his help. But the widow who lives only for pleasure is spiritually dead even while she lives.

— 1 Timothy 5:5-6 NLT

Key Thought

For the past several days, we have looked at God's heart for widows, the fatherless, and the foreigner. Today, however, Paul speaks to widows and tells them how to live to please God. She must place her hope in Him and "pray continually," [1] asking God for help. A widow that is on the "list of widows" [2] for a church can become a key congregational leader through prayer, blessing the whole congregation and herself.

Spiritual widows or widowers don't just live for themselves. In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus wanted us to serve each other humbly. When we live for the praise and pleasures of the world, this is our only reward. It is limited to this current life. We forfeit our eternal rewards with the Father. [3]

Widows and widowers should not be treated as burdens or problems to be solved. They are a blessing to our congregations. The Holy Spirit gives spiritual gifts to each person [4] in Jesus' family, including widows and widowers. These gifts may or may not be different from the ones they used to bless the church when they were younger. Spiritual gifts can change based on the Spirit's will and life circumstances. However, for a church to be healthy, Jesus' people must encourage all believers to use their gifts to bless the church and live for God. [5] So, we must invite our aging adults — including those who are widowed — to use their gifts and not go into retirement in their walk with the Lord Jesus and service to His people.

[1] This is the language of Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 NIV, which is basically what praying "night and day" means. While this can be a specific ministry to bless the church for those who have lost a spouse, this prayer orientation is the call to every Christian.
[2] 1 Timothy 5:9.
[3] Matthew 6:2-4, 5-6, 16-18.
[4] Romans 12:1-21 is a detailed and balanced emphasis that fits Paul's statement to widows in our verse today. He presents a call to holiness and a call for each person to use their gifts to bless the whole church.
[5] Ephesians 4:7, 11-16.

Today's Prayer

Almighty God, You are the giver of every good and perfect gift, including the gifts you have given me to use to bless Jesus' body, the church. Please open my eyes to see the opportunities I have to serve others, especially those in need and those alone in the world. Use me to be a blessing to widows, widowers, the fatherless, those abandoned and left alone, and those who are poor. May my actions, words, and prayers be used to bless those people that Your heart longs to bless and bring into a deeper relationship with You. I ask this in Christ Jesus' name. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • 1 John 2:15-17; James 4:1-10
  • 1 Kings 17:1-24


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Illustration of 1 Timothy 5:5-6 NLT — Now a true widow, a woman who is truly alone in this world, has placed her hope in God. She prays night and day, asking God for his help. But the widow who lives only for pleasure is spiritually dead even while she lives.

About This Devotional

Together in Christ is a daily devotional that focuses on what Scripture teaches about godly living in relationships.

'Together in Christ' is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.