November 8, 2022 • Life for Leaders
Scripture — 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24
May the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do this.
Why can we have faith in God? Why can we trust God with our very lives? Because God is faithful, utterly faithful, completely trustworthy. Thus, we have confidence that the time will come when God will make right this broken world, including us. We will know the health and wholeness that God intends for us.
This devotion is part of the series: Encouragement from 1 Thessalonians
Christians rightly emphasize faith as essential to our relationship with God. By faith, we receive God’s saving grace. By faith, we know God. It’s important to remember that faith in God is more than believing the right things about God, though this is important, of course. Faith is putting our trust in God. It’s putting our souls and our lives in God’s hands. So, when we accept the good news of God’s salvation by grace in Christ, we aren’t just affirming that this is true. We are also putting our trust in God to save us, to give us new life and new meaning as we live for God and God’s purposes.
One main reason we put our faith in God is that God is faithful. The Greek word for faith is pistis. 1 Thessalonians 5:24 says that “The one who calls you is faithful [pistos].” In Greek as well as English, faith and faithfulness are intertwined. We trust God because God is utterly trustworthy.
I’m reminded of the first time I went rock climbing. I am rather skittish about heights, so I was not terribly excited about the idea of climbing up some sheer rock face, whether I was roped in or not. But I was willing to risk my life because my friend Eric was in charge of belaying. He found a secure place on the top of the cliff to attach the rope. He showed me how the equipment worked and why it could be trusted. But, most importantly, Eric was on the ground, holding the rope attached to my harness. If I lost my grip, which did happen several times, Eric made sure I didn’t fall.
Similarly, God is trustworthy, ultimately trustworthy. In fact, according to 1 Thessalonians 5:24, God can be trusted to sanctify us entirely, and to make sure our whole selves – spirit and soul and body – are kept sound and blameless when Christ comes again. The time will come when we are set free from the chains of sin, healed of all that is broken in us, and transformed to be more fully like Jesus Christ.
My friends, this is great news. It means that no matter how much we’re struggling to live as God intends, and no matter how much we feel the limitations of our brokenness and sinfulness, the time will come when God will set us free from the power of sin and heal us completely. We will finally be the whole people God wants us to be.
This might seem like wishful thinking. And it would be, except for the fact that God is faithful. God can be trusted to complete the work God began in us. As it says in Philippians 1:6, “I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ.”
Can you think of times in your life when you were able to trust God even though it was scary to do so?
What helps you to trust God fully?
What makes it hard for you to trust God?
Take time to consider whether there are areas of your life that you are not entrusting to God. If you find some, see if you can offer them more fully to God.
God of peace, thank you for the promises we find in 1 Thessalonians 5. Thank you for the fact that you will cause us to be fully dedicated to you. Thank you for the fact that, one day, you will heal us and make us completely whole. Thank you for being a God worthy of our trust.
“Great is thy faithfulness!
Great is thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed thy hand hath provided.
Great is thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!” Amen.
Find all Life for Leaders devotions here. Explore what the Bible has to say about work at the High Calling archive, hosted by the unique website of our partners, the Theology of Work Project. Reflection on today’s Life for Leaders theme can be found here: Here’s an Experiment: Frame Your Day With God’s Love and Faithfulness.
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Dr. Mark D. Roberts is a Senior Strategist for Fuller’s Max De Pree Center for Leadership, where he focuses on the spiritual development and thriving of leaders. He is the principal writer of the daily devotional, Life for Leaders, and the founder of the De Pree Center’s Flourishing in the Third Third of Life Initiative. Previously, Mark was the Executive Director of the De Pree Center, the lead pastor of a church in Southern California, and the Senior Director of Laity Lodge in Texas. He has written eight books, dozens of articles, and over 2,500 devotions that help people discover the difference God makes in their daily life and leadership. With a Ph.D. in New Testament from Harvard, Mark teaches at Fuller Seminary, most recently in his D.Min. cohort on “Faith, Work, Economics, and Vocation.” Mark is married to Linda, a marriage and family counselor, spiritual director, and executive coach. Their two grown children are educators on the high school and college level.