Monday, 24 July 2017
…night and day praying exceedingly that we may see your face and perfect what is lacking in your faith? 1 Thessalonians 3:10
Paul’s previous words were, “For what thanks can we render to God for you, for all the joy with which we rejoice for your sake before our God.” Now he completes the thought, beginning with “night and day praying exceedingly.” At the end of this epistle he says, “…pray without ceasing.”
He was not one to exhort without actually living out what he urged in others. From the words, “day and night,” we see that he and his companions truly did pray without ceasing. When talking about something, they would pray. When walking along and thinking on their beloved brethren, they would pray. When desiring to see those in Thessalonica again, they would pray. This doesn’t mean they stopped and got on their knees every time they prayed, but that their words were simply inclusive of prayers uttered to God for the subject they talked about or contemplated.
For now, he continues by noting that their prayers were first, “that we may see your face.” It was a true longing of Paul to return to his beloved brethren. Any evangelist or pastor who has formed a bond with those he ministered to will naturally have a desire to see that person again, and to share in fellowship with him. This was their desire as well. But it was also to “perfect what is lacking in your faith.”
The words of the epistle contain doctrine intended to increase the faith of the brethren. This is certainly a part of what Paul is referring to. If he could not be there in person, then he would at least convey his thoughts in written form. Chapter 4 will fill in many of the things concerning what is lacking in their faith, chief among them being what is the state of the dead in Christ. Paul will instruct them on this, and in his instruction will come words concerning the return of Christ for His church. They are marvelous words of hope and encouragement which are intended to perfect what is lacking in the faith of the believers.
Life application: If one is lacking faith, or if their walk has gotten off track, the first and best way to get that corrected is to get into the word of God. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. From there, we can add in many other avenues of getting ourselves grounded and redirected to the proper path. But without the word of God, how will we be able to discern if the path we have chosen is the correct one or not?
Lord God, certainly we all have times where our faith gets misdirected or weakened, and our walk goes astray. In such times, help us to redirect ourselves by refocusing on Your word. This is first and foremost our rule and guide for faithful living, so how do we think that we can do without it? And how can we know if the path we take to redirect ourselves to You is right if we don’t know what You expect of us! Help us to be diligent in the study of Your word. Open our minds to it now and always. Amen.