Daily D – 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope, comfort you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say. 2 THESSALONIANS 2:16-17 (NLT)
I was reminded recently of the limits of my strength. I hit my tiny toe and watched it swell and turn purple. Putting on socks now requires extra care. A few weeks ago, I received a crown that involved uncomfortable hours with two other people’s hands in my mouth with picks and drills and other tools of torture. A couple of days ago, my back made me shout when I twisted the wrong way. There are always reminders to tell us we are not as strong as we think we are.
What if you had all the strength you needed for all you wanted to accomplish? What would you attempt if you knew you would have everything you need to get the job done?
I worked with a group recently who crafted a beautiful vision statement about where they believe God is taking them in the future. The statement is longer than most and beautifully crafted. It is truly inspirational. There is so much to it that it will not easily fit on a post-card size piece of mail. There are statements that can be excised and used fruitfully to communicate the vision in bite-size chunks. The full statement provides a deep well of vision language to draw from again and again.
What if you take guidance from that group’s work for your life today? What if you made a list of all the things you could do today that would honor God and serve others if he provided the resources you need? What would go on the list? What work would you lean into? What words would fill your mind and find expression in your communication?
Take a look at today’s calendar. What strength do you need for each meeting or engagement? What words do you need to edify and encourage those you will encounter? What open-ended questions do you need to ask to give other people room to ponder and pursue God’s best for all concerned?
Begin preparing for those activities. Begin banking those words. Ask God for the strength he promises for activities and communication that honors him and serves others.
This is an exercise you can repeat day after day with ever-greater benefit. God will use you to spread his love and grace, comfort and hope, and strength for all you do and say. This is an offer you should never refuse.
I will trust God for the strength I need for everything before me today.
Our Father, I see what is on my calendar and to-do list. You see everything I cannot. Prepare me today for the work before me. Empower me for every activity and conversation. I want each engagement to honor you and serve others. I want to be a super-spreader of your love and grace, your comfort and hope, and your limitless strength. Thank you for these wonderful gifts. Amen.
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Jonah 4:2, 3 So he complained to the Lord about it: “Didn’t I say before I left home that you would do this, Lord? That is why I ran away to Tarshish! I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. You are eager to turn back from destroying people. Just kill me now, Lord! I’d rather be dead than alive if what I predicted will not happen.”
Joel 2:12, 13 That is why the Lord says, “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish.”
Hosea 14:8, 9 “O Israel, stay away from idols! I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you. I am like a tree that is always green; all your fruit comes from me.” Let those who are wise understand these things. Let those with discernment listen carefully. The paths of the Lord are true and right, and righteous people live by walking in them. But in those paths sinners stumble and fall.”