Read 2 Thessalonians 3
Focus on verse 13
I believe it was Winston Churchill who used the phrase “Never, never, ever give up!” to encourage the beleaguered British troops to stay strong when England was being carpet bombed by Hitler’s Luftwaffe during the First World War. I encountered this phrase again just ten years ago, when the small community in which we lived was nearly wiped out by a flash flood after a freakish rainstorm that dropped over seventeen inches of rain in a three hour period upstream of the our town. It took well over two years to get the flooded buildings cleaned up and the financial damage the town endured will likely never be entirely recovered. In that cleanup effort the work seemed endless and was exhausting, but with the help of many generous volunteers and helpful neighbors and friends, the community did recover.
In today’s reading Paul encourages believers to not grow weary of doing good.
As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good.(v. 13)
It can become tiresome to be mindful of doing good at all times, particularly when so many people that God calls us to help don’t even seem to be trying. Add to that the few who actively resist being helped, and it makes it yet more challenging. It is wearying to persevere in doing good, particularly when there is little encouragement to continue. It is at these times that we need to be reminded of why we do it and Who we do it for. We continue to do good even when we don’t feel like it because God has called us to it. It is to serve the people He loves, but it is more so to serve Him, and when we find our encouragement in His presence in the process rather than in the accolades of those we are serving, it makes it possible to persevere.
The reason we don’t give up is not because we are stubborn, but because we are empowered. His strength is perfect – when our strength is gone. Paul reminds us of this in his second letter to the Corinthians,
“for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Cor. 12:9)
God’s strength is unlimited, when we operate in His strength we don’t have to give up – ever…because we already gave it all up to Him before we started.