1 Thessalonians 3:6–13
Timothy has just now come to us from you and has brought good news about your faith and love. He has told us that you always have pleasant memories of us and that you long to see us, just as we also long to see you. Therefore, brothers and sisters, in all our distress and persecution we were encouraged about you because of your faith. For now we really live, since you are standing firm in the Lord. How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have in the presence of our God because of you? Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you again and supply what is lacking in your faith.
Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus clear the way for us to come to you. May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones.
You ask your spouse to forgive you. You are genuinely repentant, but you’ve hurt her, and she’s not ready yet to reconcile. What are you to do?
You are trying to be a witness to Jesus, and you do what you can to reflect him in your life, and you do what you are able to speak of him to those you encounter. But it doesn’t go well – you encounter indifference, rejection perhaps, even scorn. What now?
You trust God with your finances, and give generously to those in need, trusting him to provide for you. But there’s an unexpected shake-up at work, and you lose your job. What next?
It is in these moments that our faith in Jesus, and our hope in him, and our love for him grow deeper and take root within us – if we stay firm in our trust in him.
And it is in these moments that we realize how much we need each other. We need companions on the journey.
Do you have trusted friends who are walking the Jesus way with you? Or are you traveling alone?
Before you go to sleep each night, spend a few minutes thinking over the day that’s now coming to an end. Invite Jesus to walk with you through the day, and bring to mind those things that would be helpful to sort out with him in the safety of his love for you.
What were the thoughts and feelings within you when you woke up? How did you spend the first hour of your day?
What was the highlight of your day?
What occupied your attention the most?
Where did you most sense God’s presence during your day? What was going on?
Did you sense God’s prompting to do something? Or say something? Did you sense him move you to engage with a particular situation you noticed? How did it go?
What were your primary emotions? Was there a fear or anxiety that was constantly present? Was there a hunger or a longing that was a constant itch?
Was there peace? Joy? Gratitude?
Who were the people you interacted with today? How do you think your interactions went? Was there a conversation you wish you could redo? Is there someone you need to make peace with tomorrow?
Is there someone whose forgiveness you need? Is there someone you need to forgive?
End your day in the Lord’s prayer.