God our Director of Faith 2 Thessalonians 3
Verse 5 says, "Now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ." This morning let's look at the word "direct." To direct means to remove any obstacles that might be in the way, and in this particular verse, to remove any barriers that might hinder your spiritual growth. There have been times when travelling that perhaps we encounter an accident on the road and someone is "directing" traffic away from or around that particular scene. It is the same idea here, that the Lord is helping us to avoid that which would potentially cause difficulty in our lives or in the church.
Because God is faithful and works in our lives to establish the foundation of our faith, His working in our lives helps to protect us from the evil one. Paul, in Ephesians 6:10-18 also writes about the importance that we stand against Satan and all his ways. Jesus, in the prayer he taught his disciples, and which we pray often was to "protect us from the evil one." We are not to be idle in our working for the Lord but to remain diligent in following the Word of the Lord and to be aware of those things which could easily trip us up in our walks of faith.
Paul admonishes us to not grow weary or to be discouraged in what we are doing for the Lord in both our personal lives and those we are reaching out to. It is interesting that he ends this chapter with the importance of not focusing on the conduct of those in the church that are disruptive but to admonish that person as a brother or sister in Christ to repent of their actions and to understand that they are not enemies but part of the family of God. Each of us, as we serve in God's family, have faults of one sort or another. As a result, we are to be honest with one another when those things are disrupting the church and to encourage one another to do better in light of God's love and care for each of us.
Finally, Paul shares a benediction to honor the Lord Jesus: "Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with you all."