Growing Faith

Daily Devotional with Dr. Charles Stanley…

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Read | 2 Thessalonians 1:3-5

God’s desire is that our faith grow continuously as we walk with Him. He never intended belief to be a one-time event with a single purpose of ushering us into salvation. The older we get, the greater our trust should become. Yet I’ve met some Christians who have stayed at the same level of faith throughout life.

We need to realize that our willingness to trust the Lord affects every area of our lives—how we feel, what we do, the way He blesses us, and whether our prayers are answered. It all begins with our focus. When you face difficulties or heartbreak, do you notice only the impossibility of the circumstances, or do you see the greatness of our Father? To whose voice are you listening—the skeptical advice of others, the lies of Satan, or the Word of God?

Our focus in turn affects our emotions. Those who choose to believe what God says experience the peace and joy of knowing He has everything under His control. Because they trust Him, fewer situations bother them. But if our minds are filled with doubts, anxiety and fear rush in—then, we’re just not sure if the Lord is going to help us or not. Instead of resting in Christ, we fuss and fume, trying to anticipate all possible outcomes and solve every problem in our own strength.

I don’t think we realize how important faith is to God. He delights in us when we choose to believe Him; He will also move heaven and earth to act on our behalf and answer our prayers. By trusting Him, we’ll discover new excitement and adventure in life and find that He is always faithful.

2 Thessalonians 1
New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Thanksgiving for Faith and Perseverance

1Paul andSilvanus andTimothy,

To the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: 2Grace to you and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

3 We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brethren, as is only fitting, because your faith is greatly enlarged, and the love of each one of you toward one another grows ever greater; 4 therefore, we ourselves speak proudly of you among the churches of God for your [a]perseverance and faith in the midst of all your persecutions and afflictions which you endure. 5 This is a plain indication of God’s righteous judgment so that you will be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which indeed you are suffering. 6 [b]For after all it is only just [c]for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, 7 and to give relief to you who are afflicted [d]and to us as well [e]when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with [f]His mighty angels in flaming fire, 8 dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, 10 when He comes to be glorified [g]in His [h]saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed—for our testimony to you was believed. 11 To this end also we pray for you always, that our God will [i]count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power, 12 so that the name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Thessalonians 1:4 Or steadfastness
  2. 2 Thessalonians 1:6 Lit If indeed
  3. 2 Thessalonians 1:6 Or in the sight of
  4. 2 Thessalonians 1:7 Lit along with us
  5. 2 Thessalonians 1:7 Lit at the revelation of the Lord Jesus
  6. 2 Thessalonians 1:7 Lit the angels of His power
  7. 2 Thessalonians 1:10 Or in the persons of
  8. 2 Thessalonians 1:10 Or holy ones
  9. 2 Thessalonians 1:11 Or make

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