What is the most loving thing you can do for someone? Now that’s a goal to strive for each day! Some might answer, “just being kind” or “give them a gift.” Maybe it’s “helping a person live a better life.” I would suggest that the most loving thing we can do for someone is to help them have an accurate view of God. If that is skewed from reality, everything else is in life is out of whack.
Love motivated the Apostle Paul to be concerned about how his friends, the Thessalonians, viewed God in the midst of great difficulties. He spoke to them about his love and expressed his desire to help them, “to establish you and encourage you concerning your faith.” God IS who He says He is. Faith is believing that what God has said is what He is able to do and will do. During trouble however, our minds can turn to cries that begin with “How could God…” or “If I were God…” We may have self-fabricated expectations of what God should do in the area of protection, provision, timing or relief of pain. We question God’s care and wisdom or doubt his abilities.
A favorite poem of mine expresses it something like this:
Has God promised skies always blue,
Flower strewn pathways all our lives through?
Has God promised sun without rain,
Joy without sorrow, peace without pain?
Paul answers the poem’s questions with a simple, “No.” One of his statements to his troubled friends is that God has told those who trust the Son will not be free from suffering. He reminded them God promised eternal life to all who believe on Jesus as Savior. And remember, he said, that God promises grace, mercy and peace to his adopted children. God’s promises are in his Word, flowing out of his character. God cannot lie. Accurately contemplate what God has promised.
That favorite poem concludes with this:
But God has promised strength for the day,
Rest for the labor, light for the way
Grace for the trials, help from above
Unfailing sympathy, undying love.
Joshua reminded a people similar to us and susceptible to doubt that, “you know in all your hearts and in all your souls that not one thing has failed of all the good things which the Lord your God spoke concerning you. All have come to pass for you; not one word of them has failed.” Four hundred years later, Solomon reminded his hearers, “There has not failed one word of all (God’s) good promise.”
One thousand years later, Paul reminded his readers they could look over the course of all of history and see that what was true in the beginning is true now. There is no need to waver at the promise of God through unbelief. You can be fully convinced that what God had promised he is also able to perform. Be strengthened, established, encouraged in faith.
Do this most wonderful thing for someone today: remind them of these truths from Scripture, especially important when life just doesn’t “add up.” Help them adjust their minds to an accurate view of God. It is crucial to know what the promises of God truly are and what the activity of God has truly been, and then our faith grows more established. This is the greatest need of each one of us. Everyday.