Our Devotional in Paul’s prayers continues.
2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, 17comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.
And so Paul’s prayer is that this God, this Jesus, this author of eternal life, this source of hope, this giver of grace would now comfort the hearts of the hurting. Isn’t it clear that a God like this will answer this prayer?
When we know people who are mourning loss, or struggling with pain or shedding tears of frustration or anger or hurt, we also know a God fully capable of comforting them at a heart level. So often in these circumstances we don’t know what to say, and words seem inadequate to meet the needs, but God can speak directly to the hearts of the hurting. And to our hearts as well.
And beyond all that Paul prays one more thing: not only that your hearts would be comforted, but that they would be steadfast in every good work and word. What is he praying? That the losses and hurts of this world would not make you bitter, or deter you from loving or separate you from others, but that as he comforts your heart you would bring forth the fruit of good words and caring actions in the lives of others.
Paul says in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 that God comforts us in our afflictions so that we can comfort others in theirs. Furthermore, as we receive his comfort and love and good hope, we are able to say his words and do his deeds in a world that desperately needs to hear and see them. (Ephesians 2:10, Matthew 5:16)
In the Night by Andrew Peterson. An image/lyric video that is simply and nicely done.