May our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word. (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17)
Paul moves from teaching to praying. Since all this is true of you – God loves you, chose you, saved you, sanctified you, called you through the gospel, brought you to faith, and destined you to share in Christ’s glory – come before him with confidence and receive what you need from him! Pray in the light of this truth.
Notice the personal involvement of Christ: “May our Lord Jesus Christ himself… comfort your hearts” (2:17). When you pray for comfort and strength remember who you’re asking. Jesus is the one who gives us “eternal comfort and good hope” (2:16). How does he do that? Through the cross and his resurrection.
Do you need comfort? Lift up your eyes and look at the cross: The Son of God is hanging there. The voices of hell mock him. People laugh at him. He is the man of sorrows, acquainted with grief. He knows what it is to suffer. He knows what it is to face these dark powers. Think what comfort you could find in him!
Do you need strength? Lift up your eyes and look at the empty tomb. Jesus Christ has endured. He has conquered. He has risen. Think what strength you could find in him!
May this Christ, who knows what it is to suffer, comfort your heart. May this Christ, who triumphed over the grave, strengthen you in every good work and word.
Do you need comfort today? Do you need strength?