WONDERFUL THING IN THIS PASSAGE – Some of you are near the point of giving up: on escaping a bad situation; on overcoming a daunting obstacle; on reaching a cherished goal.
Some of the Thessalonian believers were near enough that point that they needed an encouraging word from their apostle. He gave it in the form of a blessing and a prayer:
“May the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the steadfastness of Christ” (2 Thess. 3:5).
What he wished for them and prayed for them is that the Lord Jesus would refocus the direction of their hearts: that He would turn their attention away from obstacles and opposition, and that He would fill their consciousness with two realities: God’s love for them and Christ’s perseverance on their behalf.
WONDERFUL THING IN MY LIFE – When the end of an arduous, uphill journey is still nowhere in sight, but the end of my strength is right before my face, it’s easy to feel hopeless and abandoned. I’ve found it helpful to remind myself of the answers I already know to two questions:
- Does God really love me? – Unquestionably! “God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his one and only Son into the world so that we might live through him” (1 John 4:9). His love for me knows no upper limits. “He did not even spare his own Son but offered him up for us all” (Romans 8:32).
- Will His love for me ever wear out? – Never! “I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in
Everything Jesus did on this earth was out of obedience to His Father and out of love for us. He faced horrendous opposition all along the way until His last breath. Unlike us, he was stronger than all who stood in His way. At any point, He could have just said, “That’s enough!”, bailed, and just skipped the painful parts. But that would have short-circuited the Father’s plan for our redemption, so He remained steadfast to the end.
Remembering that our Lord never wavered on His mission for us can help you and me hold on a little longer on our missions for Him – even when we feel like throwing in the towel. In fact, His word instructs us to remember: “For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against himself, so that you won’t grow weary and give up” (Heb. 12:3).
When our hearts are filled with an awareness of the love of God and the steadfastness of Christ, we will find ourselves strengthened with power from on high to stay on course a little farther. Sometimes that’s all it takes.
“Let us not get tired of doing good, for we will reap at the proper time if we don’t give up” (Gal. 6:9).