“…night and day praying exceedingly that we may see your face and perfect what is lacking in your faith?”
that we may see your face
Paul made five requests for the Thessalonians:
1) to see the Thessalonians face to face,
2) to complete what is lacking in their faith,
3) to deliver them from Satan’s obstruction,
4) that their love might enlarge to others,
5) to establish their hearts unblamable in holiness.
Paul’s first request in his extraordinary prayer was that he might see the Thessalonians in person
The second request Paul made in prayer was that he might have the opportunity to “perfect” the faith of the church in Thessalonica. The word “perfect” means to make fit, to equip, prepare, to render complete, to furnish completely, put in order, restore.
“Perfect” comes from two Greek words: down and to mend or repair. Secular Greek used the term “perfect” for setting bones and for manning a fleet or outfitting an army so they would be thoroughly prepared to go to war. The New Testament uses this word for mending fishing nets (Mark 1:19). The upshot of these meanings is that Paul wanted to complete developing the faith of the Thessalonians so that they would mature in Christ.
“Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted” (Galatians 6:1).
“And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ…” (Ephesians 4:11-12).
“Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1 Corinthians 1:10).
“Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the authority which the Lord has given me for edification and not for destruction” (2 Corinthians 13:10).
“But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you” (1 Peter 5:10).
Our faith needs development.
It is one thing to express faith in the Lord Jesus’ death on the cross for salvation, but it is another thing to grow in that faith. Are you growing in your faith? Is your level of faith the same it was the day you became a Christian?
“Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious” (1 Peter 2:1-3).
“…but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen” (2 Peter 3:18).
We grow as we apply the principles of God’s Word to our experience. We move from spiritual infancy to spiritual adulthood, into maturity. Certain spiritual childhood diseases will infect our Christian lives if we do not mature in our faith. Many new Christians operate on their emotions and move into pseudo-spiritual experiences that have no basis in biblical truth.