The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it. 1 Thessalonians 5:24
Turning eighteen ushered in a new era in my daughter’s life: legally an adult, she now had the right to vote in future elections and would soon embark on life after graduating from high school. This shift had instilled in me a sense of urgency—I would have precious little time with her under my roof to impart to her the wisdom she’d need to face the world on her own: how to manage finances, stay alert to world issues, and make sound decisions.
My sense of duty to equip my daughter to handle her life was understandable. After all, I loved her and desired for her to flourish. But I realized that while I had an important role, it wasn’t solely—or even primarily—my job. In Paul’s words to the Thessalonians—a group of people he considered his children in the faith because he’d taught them about Jesus—he urged them to help one another (1 Thessalonians 5:14–15), but ultimately he trusted their growth to God. He acknowledged that God would “sanctify [them] through and through” (v. 23).
Paul trusted God to do what he couldn’t: prepare them—“spirit, soul and body”—for the eventual return of Jesus (v. 23). Though his letters to the Thessalonians contained instructions, his trust in God for their well-being and preparedness teaches us that growth in the lives of those we care for is ultimately in His hands (1 Corinthians 3:6).
How have you observed God helping you to grow in Him? Whose growth do you need to entrust to Him?
Father, thank You for being the initiator and finisher of my spiritual growth. Please help me to trust You for that good work.
For further study, read Heart, Soul, and Mind: Raising Kids to Know and Love God.
The church at Thessalonica was one that benefited from Paul’s personal ministry. Thessalonica was a major city made up primarily of local Greeks and transplanted Romans. There was also a substantial enough Jewish population to necessitate and support a synagogue there (Acts 17:1). As was often his practice, Paul began his gospel ministry in the synagogue—proclaiming Jesus as the promised Messiah (vv. 3–4). Those who responded in faith formed the nucleus of the new church family, apparently meeting in the home of a local man named Jason (vv. 5, 7). Opposition from some of the local Jewish population forced the apostle to leave Thessalonica and make his way from there to Berea and ultimately to Athens.