Summary: When we are troubled and shaken, we need to direct our hearts into the love of God and into His patience. That’s exactly what Paul is telling us today in the text.
2 Thessalonians 3:3” Now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ.”
Devotion written on April 2008 - When we are troubled and shaken, we need to direct our hearts into the love of God and into His patience. That’s exactly what Paul is telling us today in the text. Now what is His love and patience? His unfailing love for us and the knowledge of His nature of patiently handling things. Our God is never in a hurry, but we need not worry, because He would arrive on time. Amen. The Christian life is not a quick fix. New converts are sometimes confused when they think that everything should go perfectly, that there would be no more difficulties. Some believers may even wonder if they’re at fault, maybe, if they just had more faith the hard times would go away. Paul told the Thessalonians ahead of time that problems would come. He says in 1 Thessalonians 3:3” ..no one should be shaken by these afflictions, for you yourselves know that we are appointed for this..”
Look what Paul says, “Our trials are appointed by God”. Hard to grasp, is it not? He appoints tough times for our good and His glory. Listen carefully! After the trial period comes victory! Endure the heat! Look what Peter says, 1 Peter 4:12: “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you.” Suffering is a mark of discipleship, something that is guaranteed for the follower of Christ.
God spoke this particular scripture to my spirit while I was going through a rough patch in my life. It was midnight and the Lord revealed the pain and trouble that Paul had to go through in His ministry and how we also have to direct our heart ‘into the patience of Christ.’ Personally I had to wait for years to see a single move in my life. I started my ministry in our living room and there were days I would fast and prepare for the prayer meeting three days ahead, but the attendance would be very poor. One day there were 10 people sitting for the meeting, out of which 6 were from my own family. My mom was there on that particular day and she asked, “have you prayed about the situation, what is your next plan?” I said, ‘my next plan IS TO WAIT.’ After few years God gave me a small platform and then slowly opened doors for me, just a small ray and a small glimpse now and then, but surely, all this waiting and pain has humbled me a lot. Through the “waiting period” God has molded my character and still working on me. Today, God looks at each one of you and says, ” I am never too late!” Friends, if you feel you are running out of time, then you are wrong, trust God to work in your life. Once we settle into His beautiful Hands, I assure you, you would never come out. Learn to nuzzle close to Him and stay silent rather than kick and scream.
Sometimes we get excited when things do not go our way, when prayers are not answered even after a long wait, when time does not move and when nothing seems to happen. Never give up hope but trust in God, who would surely deliver us out of the situation. Often we think we are the worst sufferer in the whole universe, everybody seems to be enjoying except me. It may seem so at the time, but it’s not so really. God is much more concerned with how we respond, than with the trial itself. Someone has said, “God will take care of what you go through if you take care of how you go through it.”