1+2 Thessalonians

Day 12: May the Lord Direct Your Hearts

2 Thessalonians 3:1-18,  2 Corinthians 11:7-9, 1 Peter 5:8-11

 

Sometimes faithfully following Christ is exhausting. Day after day we get up, look ahead, and see a climb with no end in sight. We scrabble and scramble ahead, then fall sideways, then slip back, then slog and crawl ahead again. Over time we get worn down.

When we feel this way we need encouragement, or maybe a good kick in the pants. We need a glimpse of what lies ahead so that the grind of life today, in the moment, feels worth it and we find motivation. And that’s what we find in these passages from today’s reading.

First, Paul describes how he prays for believers, so they will know they are in the hands of God. This reminds us of our own security, and the source of our ability to persevere. Then he points to his own life as an example. Now we know someone has gone before us and has been faithful through great struggle. If Paul can do it with God’s help, then we can find hope and motivation too (2 Thessalonians 3:1-5).

Then we see the reason for our struggle. It is not in vain; it is in resisting the devil who actively seeks to destroy us. We are fleeing temptation and fighting sin. And as we do this, we are spreading the Word through our faithfulness, both by our example and through our profession. Our struggle is for our own well-being and for the salvation of others.

Yes, this will cost us, most likely, far more than just fatigue. We will suffer. We will face conflict with those who refuse to follow Jesus, especially those closest to us. We will become weary and wonder if it is worth it. Our weariness might lead to doubts or apathy or just plain giving up.

That is why Paul writes “do not grow weary in doing good” (v. 13). And he pairs it with a promise: God’s love will direct the believer’s heart, allowing us to press on, powered by Christ’s endurance. Christ was faithful in pressing on, resisting temptation, navigating difficulties, and facing His suffering to the utmost—and without failing! The Lord will certainly lead believers to that same endurance.

If we press on, if we do not let our weariness get the best of us, we will be established and strengthened. We will always slip and slide, but we will gain ground. We will fail, but we will show the world the faithfulness of God to us in Christ. So let us pray as Paul prayed. Let us follow his example as he followed Christ’s, and move forward—however nearly spent and discouraged—one step at a time.

“The God of all grace, who called [us] to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, establish, strengthen, and support [us] after [we] have suffered a little while. To him be dominion forever. Amen” (1 Peter 5:10-11).

Written by Barnabas Piper