“May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.” 2 Thess. 2:16–17
Lord Jesus, you could send an African Grey parrot to sit on our shoulder and sing “In Christ Alone,” or hang a neon rainbow in the sky at midnight, or send a golf cart to our front door with 4 winged-angels sitting in it. Instead, as this passage declares, you yourself, and Abba Father, are committed to encouraging our hearts and strengthening our bodies. Thank you because we need both.
Though, we still need to mask our faces for quite some time, we’ve never had to mask our feelings or mute our cries with you. Many of us are quite tired—physically and emotionally. Some of us feel more petulance than peace, more dread than delight, more fear than faith, more irritation than adoration.
So how do you encourage our hearts? You do so principally through Scriptures—a treasure trove of hope, the quickest path back to Gospel-sanity, our perpetual supply of heavenly perspective. You also re-center, renew, refresh our hearts by the sovereign working of your Holy Spirit.
This isn’t a season for debating the finer points of “pneumatology” (the doctrine of the Holy Spirit); fixing anybody’s view of speaking in tongues, or arguing about the timing of the baptism in the Holy Spirit. This is the season for all of us to sing, “Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.” Jesus, fill us afresh with the Spirit. Hallelujah, and very Amen!