Pray for Us
3 Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you, and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men. For not all have faith. But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one. And we have confidence in the Lord about you, that you are doing and will do the things that we command. May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.
Warning Against Idleness
Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you. It was not because we do not have that right, but to give you in ourselves an example to imitate. For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.
As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good. If anyone does not obey what we say in this letter, take note of that person, and have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed. Do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother.
Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.
I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. This is the sign of genuineness in every letter of mine; it is the way I write. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.
2 Thessalonians 3 Commentary
by Hank Workman
There is a battle raging against each of us that is unseen. Beneath our daily life a spiritual attack goes on. The spiritual powers of darkness, the principalities not of this world are set on seeing each of us fall or at minimum grow complacent in our commitment to Jesus.
The defense we have is first the spiritual armor that Paul wrote of in Ephesians 6. We are to put on every day each piece of protection that will protect us. From head to toe we are to ask for this armor to cover our mind, heart and quicken our response in the unseen war. Another tremendous defense is prayer. “Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests…” (Ephesians 6:18) Prayer will strengthen us and line up our defense in protection.
As Paul concludes this brief letter, he seeks prayer. He desires that the message he has been given will take root in the fertile soil of hearts. He asks them to pray for their deliverance from the work of evil men. As he writes, he knows God will strengthen them to fight on, not give in and endurance for the battle will be found. Paul not only prayed these thoughts, he sought others to engage in the battle for him.
Many times we feel isolation in the battle we are in. This is simply one more of the tactics the enemy uses. For isolation brings discouragement and at times just a resolve to give up. Again be reminded, we are in a unseen war. We need to take this battle seriously. We must not only pray for strength for ourselves but those who are fighting alongside.
I think when we look at our daily life through these lenses an urgency develops. The sober reality of this war many times aligns our actions and defense. The revelation of such things sets our hearts and minds toward fighting through and fighting to win.
Are you at a point in thought of “What difference does it make?” Have you found yourself to be more complacent? Are situations getting the better of you? Redirect your mind toward the battle. Recognize what is at stake. Seek the Spirit of God to strengthen you and give wisdom and discernment. Pray that God will renew your fervor. Pray regularly for others who are fighting beside these same thoughts. We are in a fight for our lives. A fight of spiritual proportions where we must be alert and ready. God is faithful. Persevere.
2 Thessalonians 3 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
In his final letter, Paul encourages the believers of the Thessalonian church to remain true and steadfast to the authentic faith they were taught. Evidently, some in the church were doing nothing while appearing to do a lot.
2 Thessalonians 3:11 HCSB For we hear that there are some among you who walk irresponsibly, not working at all, but interfering with the work of others.
When I worked for the support team at a computer software company, I can remember the bosses having a watchful eye on our room. If you were off the phone, looking at your monitor, and had little to no paperwork on your desk, you were perceived to be doing nothing. The reality was, there wasn’t a time of day we weren’t completely swamped! But the perception was easy to project. The old joke was: a messy, chaotic desk keeps the bosses away.
For the church in Thessalonica, they had people who were lazy. They were posing as faithful believers but neglected Paul’s instruction to work and contribute as a member of the congregation. Then there were the busybodies. The people Paul was referring to were probably false teachers or gossips that were masquerading as authentic believers and not following the true faith. The ‘busybody’ term is used again in 1 Timothy to refer to people going house to house talking about things not proper to mention.
Paul reminds the church that there are still needs that need to be met, and so they must continue to work and support the church even if others are not (1 Th 3:12). Then he makes a concise but powerful statement in verse 13. He writes,
2 Thessalonians 3:13 HCSB Brothers, do not grow weary in doing good.
Sometimes it’s hard to take the high road when others aren’t pulling their weight. I know I should be doing good, but sometimes I just get tired. I’m fatigued by the constant stress and sinful nature that’s ever before me. How do we combat this and continue to persevere in “doing good?” The quick answer is the Holy Spirit.
My wife and I have been married for almost 14 years. I can remember buying gifts for her earlier in our marriage, and gathering pretty quickly that it wasn’t necessarily what she was expecting. I’ve learned from my mistakes. Although I’m not perfect in my gifting, I know her so well now that I can see something and immediately know she will love it. In fact, I can sometimes hear her exact words in my head as I envision her seeing the particular gift.
Knowing Christ is very similar. Through constant saturation in the Word of God, we learn His ways and hear His guidance. The Holy Spirit translates His truth to our hearts and guides us as we grow in grace and truth. We gradually, but surely, begin to recognize what is true and what is false. We aren’t perfect, but we take on His character and attitude as we deepen our relationship. How is your relationship looking these days?