2 THESSALONIANS 3:5
And the Lord God direct your hearts into the Love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.
One principal part of the apostle’s design in writing this epistle was to satisfy some persons in this church, who were shaken in mind, and troubled, as though The day of Christ was at hand. He assures them, therefore, in the second chapter, that it was not; for there were several things to he done previous thereunto: such as the removal of the Roman empire; the great apostasy that was to befall the churches; and the setting up the man of sin, the Papal Antichrist. He therefore exhorts them to steadfastness in the doctrines of the gospel; and wishes them a great many good things. In the beginning of this chapter, he desires them to pray for him, and the rest of the ministers of the gospel; hints what he would have them pray for, and the reason why. Finally, brethren, pray for us; that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified; that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men; for all men have not faith. And then, for their comfort, expresses his assurance of their final perseverance. But the Lord is faithful, who shall establish you, and keep you from evil. As also, his great confidence of their cheerful and universal obedience to the commands of God, saying, And we have confidence in the Lord, touching you, that ye both do, and will do, the things which we command you. In order to which, he puts up a prayer for them, in the words of the text. The Lord direct your hearts, &c. So that the words are a prayer of the apostle consisting of two petitions, namely, That the Lord would direct their hearts into the Love of God. And, that the same Lord would also direct their hearts into the patient waiting for Christ. It is the former of these that shall insist upon at this time. In order to explain which, I shall make the following enquiries,
I. What are we to understand by the Love of God.
II. What it is to have our hearts directed into it.
III. Who this Lord is, who is prayed unto to do this for us. And,
IV. What is the great usefulness of having our hearts so directed.
I. What we are to understand by the Love of God. This may be understood either actively or passively.