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2 Thessalonians

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©Michael Player

Chapter 3:1-5 (ESV)

Posted on May 12, 2024  - By Chris LaBelle  

Chapter 3:1-5 (ESV) - Finally, 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.

Question to consider: If we pray like Paul told the Thessalonians, why do we still experience times of pain and difficulty?

Just as Paul, Timothy and Silas made it a priority to continually lift up the Thessalonians in prayer, so they asked that the Thessalonians pray for them. If I was given the opportunity to view some kind of heavenly archive of history, I would be curious to see what impact our prayers have had on it.

Prayer is an action that is heavily emphasized in scripture for the life of the believer. Even though Jesus came to preach the coming of His kingdom, gather the lost sheep of Israel, and fulfill every jot and tittle of the Law, He prioritized prayer.

From passages like the one above, it is not only permissible but encouraged to ask God for things. Paul asked that they be delivered from wicked and evil men, and I am sure he prayed that for the Thessalonians as well. Obviously, we are not always delivered from wicked and evil men, or Paul would not have been beheaded by Caesar Nero sixteen years after he wrote this. Does this mean that their prayers “didn’t work” or that people had forgotten to pray for Paul when it happened? No, Paul pointed out that the Lord is faithful.

Jesus told the disciples regarding such wicked and evil men, “So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” (Matthew 10:26-31)

Jesus also told the disciples that God gives good gifts to us like a father does for a beloved child, “Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:9-11)

If God values us above many sparrows and desires to give us good gifts, I think it is vital for us to understand this in light of Paul’s ultimate desire for the Thessalonians, “May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.” None of the things we suffer are in vain. I can confidently say that when we experience painful trials in the world, God is using them to mold our faith or bring others to Christ. Even though time seems to stand still in the midst of our pain, it is temporary. There will come a time when you will be able to look on that pain, see how God has used it, and praise Him that He allowed you to endure it.

Even Jesus had this experience. Jesus may have asked that the cup be taken from Him in Gethsemane, but by the time He was done praying, He rested in the will of the Father to endure the cross. One of my favorite verses in all of scripture is Isaiah 53:11 which would come after His resurrection, “Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see light and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities.” Jesus endured the most brutal act in history by wicked and evil men, but when He saw what it accomplished, it was all worth it.


Dear heavenly Father, thank You for listening to our prayers. Help us to find rest in Your will like Jesus did in Gethsemane. Please fill us with the peace and joy that comes from being clothed in the righteousness of Christ and give us comfort in knowing that You are using our suffering for something glorious. Amen.