Thursday, 12 October 2017
…comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work. 2 Thessalonians 2:17
The verse here is divided in a way where it cannot be taken alone. The word “comfort” is based on Paul’s previous words – “Now may our Lord Jesus Christ, and our God and Father … comfort your hearts.” The word “comfort” here is tied into the intervening words of that same verse which said, “who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace.” There, the word “consolation” is a noun form of the closely corresponding verb “comfort” here.
As those in Thessalonica were facing trials and troubles, Paul is praying that they will be comforted by the comfort which exists in the Lord Jesus Christ, and in God the Father. He then adds in, “and establish you in every good word and work.” To be established is to be firm and fixed. It is to be unyielding when difficulties or confrontations come. The word in Greek means to stand against vacillation. And Paul applies it to “every good word and work.”
The word is the word of God, and the doctrine which flows from it. The work is applying that doctrine properly and in accord with the word. It then is a thought more fully fleshed out by Paul in Ephesians 4:13, 14 –
“…till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting.”
The words of the word, combined with a right application of them, will lead to good works which are suitable and pleasing to the Lord Jesus Christ, and to God the Father. And this is exactly what is implied here in Paul’s choice of words in the Greek. The verbs are in the singular, but the corresponding pronouns are “the Lord Jesus Christ” and “God the Father” of verse 16. Both are united in the use of the singular verbs. Thus, once again, there is the implication of the divine unity between these two Persons. It is another reference to the nature of the Godhead.
Life application: These words were written to those in Thessalonica, but they are a part of the word of God. And so Paul’s words to them are still a prayer of Paul to us today. They are a hope which endures through the ages of the church age, and they are words which we can rely on in our own times of trial and trouble, knowing that eons before we existed, the faithful apostle was making this petition to God on our behalf as well.
Glorious, precious, and wonderful heavenly Father! It is good to give thanks and praise to You. You have established us, You have granted us so very much good, and You are merciful and forgiving of our failings when we submit ourselves to You through Christ our Lord. Surely we are undeserving of the least of Your favors, and yet You have lavished us with abundance. Thank You for Your kind hand upon our lives. Amen.