When it seems that nothing is working out in life, it’s hard to trust in God’s faithfulness. Writing to the downtrodden Christians at Thessalonica, Paul suggested some practical steps for overcoming emotional valleys.
Read 2 Thessalonians 3:1–5. Reflect on 2 Thessalonians 3:3:
“But the Lord is faithful, who will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one” (LEB).
Paul says these words out of experience. He has just requested prayer for himself, because of those who were persecuting him (2 Thessalonians 3:1–2). Rather than let depression overtake him, Paul asks for prayer. He then reassures the Thessalonians of God’s faithfulness.
There is a cycle here. Paul is praying for the Thessalonians. The Thessalonians are praying for Paul. Both of them are relying on the strength of the Lord. Both of them are praying to God himself, by the power of the salvation that Jesus has offered them.
When prayer is looked at this way, it can seem quite complicated and a little odd. But think of it like this: If we are practically relying on God for our emotional and physical needs, then our perspective on all of life will change. We will begin to see how God is involved in each step, rather than feeling burdened by our difficulties. We will find gratefulness for the little things.
Furthermore, if we are busy praying for others—and looking for how God’s faithfulness is at work in their lives, as an answer to our prayers—than we will have less time to focus on our own pain. And in the process of seeing how God is at work in someone else’s life we will learn to notice how he is at work in our life.
No matter what evil may throw our way, these things are true. God is there. God is listening. God is present in our prayers. God is faithful. It is in prayer that we navigate the emotional valleys of life.
Who are you praying for today—what little victories have you noticed God working in their life? When you look closely, do you see similar victories occurring in your own life? Drop me a comment, I would love to hear from you.
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