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God’s Faithfulness
2 Thess. 3: 3-5


Here Paul changes the subject from praying for the gospel team to praying for the Thessalonians once more. Paul tells how his team ‘s confidence lay not in human plans, or personalities, but in the Lord Himself. Their confidence for whatever they might need and face was an unending trust in the provision and faithfulness of the Lord and His powerful Word. The Lord Jesus said, “I will build my church and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it. While God uses frail human instruments in accomplishing His work on earth, the ultimate accomplishment of the work depends on the work and faithfulness of the Lord and His Word.

I. The Lord is faithful (2 Thess. 3:3)
A. God’s faithfulness is a fundamental aspect of His character as stated in many other passages (Deut. 7:9; Isa. 49:7; Lam. 3:23; 1 Cor. 1:9; 10:13; 1 Thess. 5:24; Heb. 10:24; Rev. 19:11). That God is faithful means that He is honest, truthful, upright, loyal, dependable, steadfast, trustworthy. He will always be true to His promises. While there are many who do not have faith in the Lord and may oppose the gospel and its messengers, we can depend in the Lord because He is faithful or trustworthy.
B. Two characteristics of God’s faithfulness
1. He will establish us. The word “establish” means to fix, make fast, set, confirm, establish, strengthen. God will establish or confirm the Thessalonians in their belief (Luke 22:32; Acts 14:22; 16:5). It may also refer to the perfection of salvation at the resurrection.
2. He will keep you from evil. God will also “guard” the Thessalonians. The idea is stand guard. God is our defender. He stands guard for us. Though in this present world, sin and Satan can hinder and corrupt the child of God who is no obedient, sober, and vigilant (1 Pet. 2:11; 5:8), there is nothing that can destroy him or pluck him out of God’s hand (Jn. 10:27-29).

Illustration 1: Hudson Taylor
Missionary statesman Hudson Taylor had complete trust in God’s faithfulness. In his journal he wrote:
Our heavenly Father is a very experienced One. He knows very well that His children wake up with a good appetite every morning … He sustained 3 million Israelites in the wilderness for 40 years. We do not expect He will send 3 million missionaries to China; but if He did, He would have ample means to sustain them all … Depend on it, God’s work done in God’s way will never lack God’s supply. Our Daily Bread, May 16, 1992

II. Paul’s Confidence (2 Thess. 3:4)
A. The word “confidence” shows Paul had complete trust in and reliance upon God’s ability to work in their lives. Having mentioned the Lord ‘s faithfulness, in verse 4 Paul expresses their confidence that the Thessalonians were doing and would do the
things the missionary team had commanded them (continue in the apostolic teaching). But the key to that confidence is seen in the words, “in the Lord”. Literally, ¯But we are confident in the Lord about you. Their confidence was rooted in the Lord. The missionary team trusted the faithful Lord to be at work to maintain them in growth and obedience because of their relationship to Him as those who were ¯in the Lord.

Illustration 1: Imperial Hotel
Frank Lloyd Wright is among the most innovative architects this county ever produced. But his fame wasn’t limited to the United States. About 70 years ago, Japan asked Wright to design a hotel for Tokyo that would be capable of surviving an earthquake.
When the architect visited Japan to see where the Imperial Hotel was to be built, he was appalled to find only about eight feet of earth on the site. Beneath that was 60 feet of soft mud that slipped and shook like jelly. Every test hole he dug filled up immediately with water. A lesser man probably would have given up right there. But not Frank Lloyd Wright. Since the hotel was going to rest on fluid ground, Wright decided to build it like a ship. Instead of trying to keep the structure from moving during a quake, he incorporated features that would allow the hotel to ride out the shock without damage.
Supports were sunk into the soft mud, and sections of the foundation were cantilevered from the supports. The rooms were built in sections like a train and hinged together. Water pipes and electric lines, usually the first to shear off in an earthquake, were hung in vertical shafts where they could sway freely if necessary.
Wright knew that the major cause of destruction after an earthquake was fire, because water lines are apt to be broken in the ground and there is no way to put the fire out. So, he insisted on a large outdoor pool in the courtyard of his hotel, “just in case.”
On September 1, 1923, Tokyo had the greatest earthquake in its history. There were fires all over the city, and 140,000 people died. Back in the U.S., news reports were slow coming in. One newspaper wanted to print the story that the Imperial Hotel had been destroyed, as rumor had it. But when a reporter called Frank Lloyd Wright, he said that they could print the story if they wished, but they would only have to retract it later. He knew the hotel would not collapse.
Shortly afterward, Wright got a telegram from Japan. The Imperial Hotel was completely undamaged. Not only that—it had provided a home for hundreds of people. And when fires that raged all around the hotel threatened to spread, bucket brigades kept the structure wetted down with water from the hotel’s pool.
The Imperial Hotel isn’t there anymore. It was finally torn down in the 1960s to be replaced by a more modern structure. Bits & Pieces, January 7, 1993, pp.11–14

III. Prayer (2 Thess. 3:5)
A. Now may the Lord direct your hearts. God will “direct” the hearts of the Thessalonians. The word “direct” comes from two words: to make straight and down. The idea is to clear away any obstacle in their hearts toward loving God or
steadfastly enduring trial into the love of God
B. “Into the love of God”. The “love of God” is our love to God. Paul prays that God would direct the hearts of the Thessalonians to love God.
C. “Into the patient waiting for Christ”. Paul prays that the hearts of the Thessalonians will follow the “patience of Christ.” The word “patience” means endurance. They were to persevere in their persecutions as Christ did in His. They faced political and
social pressure from their community. They needed to follow the example of Christ in suffering.

Illustration 3: Love is a Costly Thing
She was lying on the ground. In her arms she held a tiny baby girl. As I put a cooked sweet potato into her outstretched hand, I wondered if she would live until morning. Her strength was almost gone, but her tired eyes acknowledged my gift. The sweet potato could help so little—but it was all I had.
Taking a bite, she chewed it carefully. Then, placing her mouth over her baby’s mouth, she forced the soft warm food into the tiny throat. Although the mother was starving, she used the entire potato to keep her baby alive.
Exhausted from her effort, she dropped her head on the ground and closed her eyes. In a few minutes the baby was asleep. I later learned that during the night the mother’s heart stopped, but her little girl lived.
Love is a costly thing.
God in His love for us (and for a lost world) “spared not His own Son” to tell the world of His love. Love is costly, but we must tell the world at any cost. Such love is costly.
It costs parents and sons and daughters. It costs the missionary life itself. In his love for Christ the missionary often must give up all to make the Savior known. If you will let your love for Christ, cost you something, the great advance will be made together.
Love is a Costly Thing by Dick Hillis

IV. Conclusion:
Truly the Lord is faithful and He will always be true to His promises. We can depend on Him in any situation. Trust the Lord Jesus Christ all the time. Paul prays that the Thessalonians will be able to persevere in their persecutions. As children of God, we should pray for all believers around the world so that we would be able to persevere also. My friend will you trust the Lord and pray for your fellow believers also

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