2 Thessalonians 1:3
“We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth;”
One thing that God is looking for in every Christian is growth. God says in 2 Peter 3:18, “But grow in grace…” When God talks about the one desire He has for the Christian; He says in 1 Peter 2:2, “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:” It is obvious from the Scriptures that God desires growth. The verse above shows us three areas where God desires growth, and the growth of each area is important for the other areas to grow. Let me show you these three areas of growth the LORD desires and its result.
First, God wants your faith to grow. I believe the LORD is talking about two different types of faith. First, He is talking about growing in the Christian life. You should continually become stronger as a Christian. Growth is the natural process for any living organism. God doesn’t want you to stay in the infant stage as a Christian; rather, He wants you to grow into a mature Christian.
How does one grow their faith? They grow their faith by increasing their faith. I know this sounds strange, but you will never grow as a Christian until you step out by faith for God. It should be a regular occurrence for you to step out and do something greater for God. When you step out by faith, it grows your faith. God doesn’t want a stagnant faith that never attempts anything great for Him; rather, He desires a growing faith that forces you to trust Him. You will only grow your faith by attempting great things for God.
Second, God wants your charity to abound. It’s a natural result for your charity to abound when your faith grows. Several people have asked me how they can cause their love for others to grow, and the answer is to grow your faith, and your charity for others will abound. The more you do for God, the more you will love people. It won’t just be a love for the lovable, but you will notice that God says that your charity will abound towards “every one.” If you will attempt great things for God by faith, your love for others will begin to abound.
Third, God wants your patience to endure. Verse 4 says, “So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:” You will find that it won’t be hard to be patient with people when your charity towards them abounds. The only reason a person lacks patience for others is because their charity is lacking. Your charity is lacking because your faith is not growing. Proverbs 10:12 says, “…love covereth all sins.” I have found that the more you work with people and love them, the greater your patience for others will be.
Here is the test that reveals where you stand in each of these areas. If you find yourself being impatient with people, it is because you haven’t loved them as you should. If you don’t love people as you should, you can trace it back to the lack of growth in your faith. All three of these areas are connected to each other. If one area begins to grow, all of these areas will grow and will bring glory to God.
My friend, how patient are you with people? It all comes down to whether you are attempting anything great for the LORD. If you grow your faith, your love for others and patience with them will grow exceedingly.