Journal 1 Thes 3 (all references are from the ESV unless noted otherwise; changes in punctuation are mine)

Scripture: “Therefore when we could bear it no longer, we were willing to be left behind at Athens alone, and we sent Timothy, our brother and God’s coworker in the gospel of Christ, to establish and exhort you in your faith, that no one be moved by these afflictions.

For you yourselves know that we are destined for this: For when we were with you, we kept telling you beforehand that were to suffer affliction…” 1 Thes 3:1b-4

Observation: What is it about the subject of destiny and being Christian?

Analysis: For what am I destined?

“I make my own destiny”, I have thought before. Many people think that. When that comes up now, I am recognizing that the declaration of “I make my own destiny” is the declaration of rebellion towards God.

So then: Is recognizing destiny bad?

I think most people equate destiny with “God’s plan for my life.” That is kind of right, but maybe that is not exactly correct thinking…

Paul and his team (from the text) knew they were destined for affliction. Is that being negative? How many times have I had the position that I serve a “happily ever after” God and that for every day—no harm, no challenge, no heartache, no tears, etc.

Doesn’t happen, at least not from the Scriptures.

The Triune God we serve is fully interested in our Sanctification; his Holiness expressed in this reality by being Disciples. “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my Name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” (Ro 9:17; note: Yes, this is referring to Pharoah, but it is applicable by principle to all of us)

My independence (resistance) rises when I think that I do not make my own destiny. It subsides if I think that God is going to do what I want to have as my destiny. It is at that point that I make God a “genie” (and an idol) to fulfil my wishes—fulfilling the admonition of the 1st Commandment.

Understanding “He is the Potter, and I am the clay; He is Creator, and I am creature” was as natural as breathing to Paul and his crew, and perhaps was one of main doctrines that Paul was preaching to the Churches of Asia.

Prayer: Father, make it so that I put my mind (and heart) to resist independence and lean hard into dependence on You. I surrender my life to you so that I can be and excel in dependence; first, second, and third by making a choice to adhere to your Word daily.


Ricky Two Shoes