2 Thessalonians 1:11 With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith.
It is good to see the affection with which Paul writes some of his letters, particularly to the Philippians and the Thessalonians. Here, it’s striking that in verse 3 he writes that God has answered a specific prayer he prayed for them in 1 Thessalonians 3:12. They are going through some hard times with persecution, but Paul is feeling very pleased with them, and it shows in various ways. Here, he intensifies his prayers for them, asking God’s blessings on every good purpose and every act of faith. (The Japanese renders “good purpose” as “request/desire that longs for righteousness.”) It was people like this that gave Paul motivation to keep going through all he endured. I wrote about that just two days ago! When we see God working in people because of what He has done through us, it makes it all worth it! The world tries to give us all sorts of goals, involving money, influence, pleasure, and the like, but absolutely nothing can top being aware of being used by God for His purposes in drawing people to Him. When we have that straight in our own heart and mind, it clears up all sorts of conflicts.
I have just had a taste of that, being aware of God using me to touch people in all that went on with the service and then the funeral we had yesterday, and then on top of that, with a phone call with a son in the Lord last night. I almost laughed out loud when he reported to me some of what is going on with him, because of how beautifully God is working things together for great good. I can certainly pray this prayer for him! There have been times through the years when I have indeed thought that it would be merciful of God to take me home then and there, but times like this more than balance that out. It is a confirmation of what Paul wrote to the Corinthians: “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” (2 Corinthians 4:17) When I can have feedback like this here and now, how glorious will it be when I’m in heaven?! Recently we have had word of two dear friends who have “graduated,” and as I wrote to the husband of one of them, we rejoice with them as they go to their glorious reward, even as we grieve with those they leave behind. There are all sorts of irritations in this life, just as Jesus said, (John 16:33) but every once in a while the Lord reminds us that ultimately, they are no big deal.
Father, thank You indeed for all that You are doing, and for allowing me to be a small part of it. May I be less and less distracted by all the other stuff and more and more available to You for whatever You want to do through me, for the blessing of many and for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!