2 Thessalonians 3:1-5

PrayerIsFinally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you, and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men. For not all have faith. But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one. And we have confidence in the Lord about you, that you are doing and will do the things that we command. May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.

Observation

  • Paul asked for prayer from the Thessalonians.
  • Paul asked the Thessalonians pray the word of God go ahead of him so that it may be honored.
  • The word of God was honored among the Thessalonians.
  • Paul asked the Thessalonians to pray that he be delivered from wicked and evil men.
  • Not everyone has faith.
  • God is faithful.
  • God will protect the Thessalonians from the evil one.
  • Paul was confident the Lord would protect the Thessalonians.
  • Paul was confident the Thessalonians were and would continue doing what he had commanded them to do.
  • Paul prayed that God directs the Thessalonians to His love.
  • Paul prayed that God directs the Thessalonian to the steadiness of Christ.

Interpretation

There is little doubt that Paul’s prayer life was one of the most consistent and effective of all time. Yet here, he requests the prayers of others believers. We too should seek the aid of others through prayer. Let us encourage other believers to pray for us.

Paul first requests prayers that the word of God may receive the honor. This indicates he is more concerned about the church than he is for himself.

Paul knew he faced evil men. He knew he was in constant danger for the gospel. He had received a divine message. That message was, imprisonment and affliction awaited him in every city. (Acts 20:23). At the time, Paul wrote this letter he was on his was to Jerusalem. He had received a message from the prophet Agabus that the Jews would bind him and hand him over to the Romans. Everyone in his party begged Paul not to go to Jerusalem. (Acts21:10-12). So, Paul asked the Thessalonians to pray for him. He asked the Thessalonian to pray the wicked men would not seize him.

“For not all have faith.” Here Paul restates what is has said so many times Faith is a gift from God. It is not given to everyone. While God calls everyone to repentance, not all have faith to come to Him. The context indicates the wicked and evil men, to which Paul was referring, are the Jews in Jerusalem. Their legalism hardened their heart to the gospel. Let us guard our hearts against the legalism of the Jews and live in the grace of God.

Having cautioned the Thessalonians that faith is not common among men, he turns them back to God. God is faithful. Paul calls the Lord faithful because God is consistent in His purpose. He maintains the salvation of His people. God will on occasion even intervene and aid them in dangers, as Paul said in 1 Corinthians 10:13. “God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation, he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”

Paul tells the Thessalonian that he is confident they will obey the commands he gives them. It is comforting to note that Paul’s confidence does not lie in the Thessalonians, rather it lies in God. We may struggle to obey what God commands of us. Yet, we too may rest confident that it is God who perseveres. It is God who keeps us. We can rely on God. We do not need to rely on ourselves.

Paul summarizes this section by saying what is most necessary for Christians. The first is that God reigns in our hearts. The second is we are to wait on Christ. These are the only things that sustain the Christian in this life.

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