The Need for Perseverance in Obedience - 2 Thessalonians 3:4,5
October 27, 2022, 10:00 AM

" We have confidence in the Lord that you are doing and will continue to do the things we command. 5. May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.”

Christian workers need prayer for perseverance. They need to obey the will of the Lord in carrying out their responsibilities. More than once I felt like quitting the pastorate. Two things kept me from that. The obedience to the call of God on my life, and prayers of people that encouraged me. Paul has confidence that they will obey the word and stay in the love of the Lord and keep doing what the Lord would have them do in Thessalonica.

I liken that to finding the workers needed for local church programs. We lose someone who has been involved and wonder, who in the world can take their place? We lay it at the feet of Christ and wonder if we should continue in that plan or not. God answers prayer. Perhaps not how we imagined, but see enough of His workings to have confidence that, although we do not know how things will work out, they eventually will by His power.

Paul’s confidence was in the Lord. He was faithful to His call. He believed God was at work even through the hard times. Strengthening is not to replace affliction but to overcome in it. To strengthen speaks of the divine work within the believer. To guard implies the outer working of His providence. The believer may not know anything of how Satan seeks to attack, but God is guarding us and working in our lives.

As I mentioned, since Covid many missionaries had to return home and organizations had to curtail their operations, but we reminded ourselves God provides for that to which He calls us. We keep persevering because we know that the mission is not the same as the money. The ministry of God is far more effective than the economic situations in our world. Look how the churches in persecuted areas have continued in Eastern Europe. They advanced without membership, buildings, and programs. God is at work in creative ways to advance the gospel.

When I went to Russia, many told me how they were praying for the day to see their churches open up again and openly share the Good News. For the first time they were inviting one of Billy Graham Associates to hold a crusade in their area. They didn’t have much money but what a delight to read about the Crusade in Decision magazine a couple of years later. There was great joy. They persevered in obedience to Christ’s command and saw the results of the prayers of their fathers who were murdered under Stalin. People gave their lives and persisted in spite of very little hope of change and we witnessed the return of churches now filled and overflowing with spiritual hunger that is so great in those lands.

Times have become hard again in Russia, but God’s Word will not return void!

Application:  There are saints of God in groups all over the world who are obedient, persevering, and sharing their faith. Pray for them.

Prayer: Lord, I know that even now you are at work in Russia and in the Ukraine. You are at work in the United States of America. We wait, and ask for a moving of your Holy Spirit throughout the world in Jesus name. Amen