Day 12

May the Lord Direct Your Hearts

from the 1 & 2 Thessalonians reading plan


2 Thessalonians 3:1-18,  2 Corinthians 11:7-9, 1 Peter 5:8-11

BY Rebecca Faires

Scripture Reading: 2 Thessalonians 3:1-18,  2 Corinthians 11:7-9, 1 Peter 5:8-11

I try not to follow ambulances, rubber neck at traffic accidents, or stare when someone drops a whole bag of marbles on the ground. But when something goes terribly wrong, somehow we all want to turn our heads to watch. I think it comes from twin desires to help, but also to gawk.

A few years ago, my then eight-year-old daughter and I walked into the food court of our local mall. There we found ourselves pushed to the front of a crowd that must have been nearing 100 people. They were encircling a lifeless boy on the floor, who looked to be no more than two years old. Together, we stood helpless, looking on while EMTs performed CPR on his little body.

I don’t know a lot about medicine, but I do know you only implement CPR if there is no pulse or breathing. It’s our way of manually keeping a body going. Since that was already being done, there was really nothing left for the other 100 of us to do.

And so we all stood still and watched. His mother didn’t cry; she paced, she moaned, she shouted. We felt powerless to help the child or his mother. It was shocking to see so many people standing there, hands at their sides, while the battle between life and death was fought right in front of us.

It’s awful to face our own powerlessness. I like to really lean my shoulder into a job and then promptly see a result for my effort. But when it comes down to it, when things are really important, I’m like that crowd of people, rendered helpless, left watching and waiting.

In 2 Thessalonians 3:5, Paul prays, “may the Lord direct your hearts to God’s love and Christ’s endurance.” The whole Christian walk is one of dependance. The air we breathe, the gravity that holds us to the earth, and the ability to wonder at it—it all comes from God’s common grace. We have no endurance apart from the endurance of Christ.

Moments of calamity and tragedy unveil our deep neediness and utter helplessness. They direct us to our only strength and recourse, which is Christ. And it is only by His strength that we will not grow weary in in our faith and in doing good in the name of the gospel (2 Thessalonians 3:13).

When we saw the baby and his mother in crisis, I took my little girl by the hand and led her around the corner where we found a quiet spot to pray. But even our prayers are a recognition of our enormous need. Prayer is not about what we do, but about running to the God who can do all things. It is an avenue for God to impart His love and endurance to us.

What a tremendous grace this is, to know the God who loves perfectly and to be in relationship with the God who endures endlessly. In the face of our overwhelming sorrows, He directs our hearts back to Him. His is the real strength in our ever-present weakness.

The God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, establish, strengthen, and support you after you have suffered a little while. To him be dominion forever. Amen.
—1 Peter 5:10-11

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60 thoughts on "May the Lord Direct Your Hearts"

  1. Sarah-Jane Beaudry says:

    This reminds me of when my son was critically ill at 2 months old. When he became stable I posted on social media about the experience to update people and to also spread awareness of illness in young infants. It struck me as funny how so many of my non-believing friends sent “positive thoughts” to me and my husband. What is a positive thought? And what good does it do in comparison to asking the God of all creation to heal your child?? And yet, people want to do something, so they believe that they can send positivity into the world and hope for the best. How incredible it is that, as followers of Christ, we don’t have to “hope for the best” but hope in The Lord and his promises.

    1. Theresa says:

      yes!! so true!

  2. Lori Hamilton says:

    Amen!!!

  3. Kathryn E Powell says:

    Could you please tell me if this 2 year old boy lived or died?

    1. Teri says:

      I wanted to know, also. Since we don’t, I just prayed for God’s peace to reign in the life of this family.

  4. Teresa Ballantyne says:

    2 Thessalonians 3:14-15 struck me as harsh. “…don’t associate with him, so that he may be ashamed.” What are your thoughts on this?

    1. LizC says:

      My study bible says “Paul was not advising coldness or cruelty, but tough love to help a person become responsible.” That “Hunger and loneliness can be very effective ways to make the idle person become productive.”

    2. Kimone says:

      Another version says so that they will be ashamed and repent. Then pay attention to 15, it says don’t treat them as enemies but warn them as brothers. It’s pretty much saying when they see you withdrawn it will cause them to question why and in so doing realise it is their contradictory actions and will hopefully repent and change.

      Hope that made sense.

  5. Angela Greenough says:

    I loved the last point.
    Whenever tragedy hits they say, “Pray for _____.” I feel only as of late that this has been criticized and challenged by people saying “What good would prayer do? Do something else!”
    The point of, we pray to the God who can do all things when we don’t feel/see how we can help is still a way of helping!
    Reading in by study Bible about this, Paul is chastising those who have completely refrained from helping because they are “waiting for Lord’s return” and do see a need to help. We need to refrain from that mentality as well.
    We are called to show the world the light of Christ. Whether it’s by prayer or by doing a physical act, we can always help.

  6. Kelly Chataine says:

    So thankful to God for all the scriptures, especially the I Peter verses. I need this reminder of suffering a little while then God Himself will restore, confirm, strengthen and establish me and my husband. Also, not to grow weary in well-doing is a timely reminder. I was very weary earlier this week. Praise God!

  7. Cynthia Johnston says:

    Me, too!

  8. Pam says:

    I just wanted to take a moment to thank SRT and all y’all that comment here. These studies are amazing and help me keep going, teaching me how to keep turning to the Lord. And, when the verses go over my head, reading the comments brings illumination. I’m so grateful. Thank you. I thank God for you.

    1. Kelly Chataine says:

      Yes! I echo your thanks to all!

    2. Debbie Lanier says:

      Yes, thank you SRT community! I agree, especially all the comments which contribute
      different insights and perspectives, many of which help to deepen my understanding of the Scriptures. Thank you!!

    3. She Reads Truth says:

      Thanks for the sweet encouragement Pam! We’re grateful to have you a part of our SRT community and reading along with us!-Margot, The SRT Team

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