Keep On Going [2 Thessalonians 3]

13But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary of doing good.

As I have struggled with what God wanted me to write this morning, I realized that my focus was on what Paul wrote in chapter 3 and I had forgotten that this passage is a small portion of two letters to the Thessalonian believers. Context is always key in understanding scripture. Without it, people can and do come to all sorts of crazy conclusions. Paul's second letter addressed several issues and misunderstandings that had surfaced after his first letter to them. Some of them thought that Jesus was coming immediately and that there was no longer a need for them to work. Apparently, these "disorderly" "busybodies" were causing problems in the community. The Thessalonians also experienced increasing persecution and concerns over whether those who had already died would miss Christ's coming. It is so easy to lose the bigger picture when reading a passage and end up confused or misled. After I took the time to review the whole book and the historical context, chapter three makes a lot more sense, now.

This is what God spoke to me when I finally began to see the chapter in context. 2 Thessalonians 3, verse 13 began reverberating in my heart and mind " not grow weary of doing good." The fact is that I do grow weary and wonder why I need to keep going and growing and doing this ministry. It's rewarding to see people grow in the Lord, but the ministry is a constant and overwhelming burden, too.  And so these words are for me today.  But once again, I can't keep going, it has to be God. Paul, who had so many more problems and obstacles in His ministry that I ever will have, ends this letter with more encouragement concerning our God so that the rest of us would find the source of the same strength that kept him going.

Our God
Is faithful
Establishes me*
Keeps me from evil
Enables me to obey
Directs my heart into the love of God
Directs my heart into the patient waiting for Christ
Source of my peace
Is with me
Source of grace through Jesus Christ

*I personalized the list because I really needed to take these things to heart today. I pray that you will receive these things for yourself, too, as you read them.

I praise You God that You are the One who calls us to be Your hands and feet on this earth and that You are faithful to supply all we need to do Your work as we look to You for strength and guidance. Cause us to take our weariness to You and to be strengthened by Your grace.
Beth Warlick, 5/28/2009