“May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father,
who loved us and by his grace gave us
eternal encouragement and good hope,
encourage your hearts and strengthen you
in every good deed and word.”
(2 Thessalonians 2:16-17)
Paul never thought that God was a disinterested spectator in the affairs of the world, of His Church and of His people individually. His learning and his experience taught him otherwise. His encounter with the living Jesus, his experience of the Holy Spirit and the way God opened his eyes to the Scriptures convinced him of God’s presence, purpose and commitment. He lived his life accordingly.
Christian life and ministry can, at times, be very lonely and insecure. We may wonder where God is and if what we are about has any significance or value in the greater scale of things. We need to remember that Jesus gave His life, and His ongoing commitment, to the people who would believe in Him and continue His work and ministry. Every aspect of it, whether thought, word or deed is of importance and, if of God, contributes towards the building and extension of His Kingdom. Each one of us does indeed have a Circle of Influence, far wider in today’s world than we would at first imagine. God encourages us to use that influence to bless others and bring glory to Him.
If God desires something to happen, whether on an international or personal front, then He will support and empower it. If God wishes you or me to lead a particular type of life – a holy life – then He will support, empower and encourage it. Because He wants us to reflect Him in our world He will inspire and strengthen us. He will also stand with us when the enemy attacks us and attempts to scare us into inactivity or lead us astray. He will be both our strength and our refuge.
Jesus great promise is to be with us always. He undertook also that the Holy Spirit would be within us and be the one to bring God’s love into our hearts. We are not alone – God is at work within and around us even when we are blind to His presence.
Remind yourself of Jesus’ presence. Involve Him in everything.
Lord Jesus do help me to remember that You are with me always. Please help me to acknowledge You and to think, speak and act in ways that honour You – and strengthen and encourage me every step of the Way. Amen