How many times have you gotten up and within fifteen minutes wanted to crawl back to bed? Or you just wondered why you keep pushing forward and onward and ahead? Last week, I wondered “why” and my why’s took me down dreary paths. I moped and questioned God and his leading. For two days I alternated between demanding God do something and pouting that he hasn’t.
To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power,so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12
These verses from Thessalonians pack a whole lotta hope tucked in a challenging call. I tend to skim over the secret ingredient that makes the challenge doable, but let’s first take a look at what Paul is telling us to do.
Be worthy of God’s calling.
Be resolved for good.
Do work in faith.
These three challenges address our heart, our choices, and our actions. In order to be worthy of God’s calling we must have our hearts cleansed of unrighteousness, which means that we basically need to get rid of slander, gossip, hate, and murderous thoughts, and anything else that pulls towards unrighteousness.
Our minds, will, and emotions must be resolved for good. This requires developing self-awareness. Where are you at in your thoughts? I tend towards speaking poorly to myself and about myself, which trickles down into what I think about others. Resolve your mind for good. When you choose good things to pursue that benefit others and yourself, you demonstrate a will resolved for good. Bringing your emotions to God, and letting him administer grace to you is how you resolve your emotions for good.
We often don’t see the outcome of our work. And by work, I don’t mean your day to day job where you exchange your time and effort for a paycheck. The work I’m referring to is your work of kindness and service. It takes faith to serve someone else without expectations placed on them. To act like you’re trusting God when you don’t see any evidence that proves that you should trust Him is faith at work.
These verses from 1 Thessalonians contain a secret ingredient that makes the three challenges possible. It is God who works in you to be worthy of God’s calling, to resolve to do good, and to work in faith. It’s God’s grace and power that enables you to leave behind your sinful habits and rise up to be a beautiful testimony of God’s amazing grace in your life.
It’s God who works in you to hope in him when all is dark.
God works in you to build your faith as you step out in faith and serve your neighbor.
Expect maturity to be a winding road and not the direct interstate. Enjoy the journey of surrendering your weaknesses so that he can be strong in you. It is his grace that works change in your life. Rest in that truth and know without a shadow of doubt that God has you close to his heart even on the days that you wonder what the point is to this Christian life.
And there is a point. It’s to point others to the grace and lordship of Jesus Christ. Then you get to experience God’s glory flowing in you and through you so that other’s may see God alive and current and present for our lives.
May God work in you to make you worthy of his calling, to resolve to do good and work in faith. May God make his power and glory known. You are a mighty force in his kingdom. Turn to him, rely on him, abide in him and turn your weaknesses over to him.
It is God’s power who works in you to make you worthy of his call, fulfill your resolve for good and every action done in faith.
Pray a prayer of faith to ask God to work in you in order to shine his glory to those around you.
Rely on God and not your own strength. Own your weakness and then exchange it for his strength. You’ll see his glory rise up within you.