“May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.”
2 Thessalonians 3:5
Two of the most crucial elements to walking any journey through life are “God’s Love” and the “Perseverance of Christ” within us, which allow us to take those sometimes, difficult steps forward on a daily basis. The Apostle Paul prayed a blessing over the church of Thessalonica which began with reminding the believers there, that it would be the result of the Lord’s direct guidance in their lives which would lead them continually to these very powerful realities. Centuries before Paul's time, the prophet Isaiah spoke of God's renewal and strength for His people, "Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord, will renew their strength...They will run and not grow weary.." Paul's first desire was for the Thessalonians to recognize the importance of their essential understanding of God’s great love for them, which serves as a firm foundation where the True Hope of the believer is deeply rooted in Christ. Similarly, Paul had encouraged the believers within the Ephesian church regarding the love of God in Christ, “so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power together with all the Lord's holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:17-19)
Secondly, he understood the importance of the believers to grasp the crucial element of perseverance in Christ for their daily journey. Paul was very well-acquainted with the necessity for every believer to comprehend their desperate need for the strength and perseverance of Christ within them. In fact, in his personal journey with trial, hardship, and weakness – Paul pleaded with the Lord three times to deliver him out of his troubles, yet the Lord had a very different message for him. “Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:8-10) He understood for all believers then and now, we desperately need the grace, strength, and perseverance of Christ in our lives in order to continue taking small steps of obedience along the journey toward hope in eternity which we’ve been guaranteed through our salvation in Christ alone, by faith alone. However, we must choose daily to allow the Lord to lead and guide us in His true wisdom which is, “pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits (Fruits of the Holy Spirit)” (James 3:17)
Connecting Faith & Life:
Father, You are our ultimate source of wisdom, guidance, and direction through Your Great Love along with the Persevering Spirit of our Savior, Christ Jesus within us. May we recognize our desperate need for You today, “Trusting in You will all our heart, leaning not on our own understanding. But in all our ways acknowledging You, (Your amazing love, strength, and power within us), allowing you to direct our paths,” along this journey in a world full of uncertainty. You, Lord, are forever faithful, forever true, and forever unchanging. In Jesus’ name, Amen.