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Read Introduction to 1 Thessalonians

 

“Now may our God and Father Himself, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way to you”
 
Paul lifts up a prayer of invocation for the Thessalonians in verses 11-13 to close his burden of verse 10. He makes this intercession to both God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
 
Now may our God and Father Himself,
Paul not only calls God “God” but he also calls him “Father.” The attitude of Paul’s approach to prayer is to look to God as Father. Like a son to a father, he presents his prayers to the Lord.
The mood of the Greek word here expresses a wish (optative). Paul does not know how God will answer his prayer. He expresses his prayer in the form of a desire to leave himself open to God’s will.
The word “Himself” is very emphatic in the Greek. Answered prayer always comes within God’s sovereignty. The more we recognize our finiteness, the more we place ourselves into God’s hands. It is the Father Himself who must undertake for us. Only an omnipotent God and a concerned Father can remove Satan’s roadblocks and shelter us from his attacks.
and our Lord Jesus Christ,
Paul in addition appeals to the sovereignty of the Lord Jesus Christ in prayer. Note how Paul naturally associates the Lord Jesus Christ on the same plane as God the Father. Both the Father and the Son are equally God. Both equally participate in answering prayer.
This sentence has two subjects (the Father and Lord Jesus Christ) and one verb (direct) showing the unity of the Father and Son as one in essence. Not only does the Lord Jesus Christ share the same position as the Father but He also joins the same work as the Father.
Principle:
The more we orient to God, the more we cast ourselves upon His sovereign providence for guidance in our lives.
Application:
God providentially orders all events of the universe. Therefore, He can change circumstances in answer to prayer. None of us knows what tomorrow may bring but God does. The only certainty we have is that God is in control of everything. He providentially manages the universe. He cares about us and about our future.
The opposite of trusting the Lord is anxiety or worry. Anxiety never resolves anything. If anything, anxiety compounds our problems. Worry will not heal cancer or pay our bills. It might give us ulcers, however. Living by faith means we put our problems in God’s providential hands. We commit ourselves to Him.
Christians do not depend on chance or luck to make their way through life. Non-Christians must go it alone. They sweat it out and hope that by chance it will work out for the best. That is why some people sublimate with booze and drugs. They need something or they will go crazy. They are not satisfied with their lot in life. They are never satisfied with their salary or their investments. They know life is short so they are afraid of getting old. They must bear surgery, disease and undertakers by themselves. They escape into pleasure and amusements. The Christian trusts in the providence of God.
“Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator” (1 Peter 4:19).
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