May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.
2 Thessalonians 3:5 NIV
May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.
2 Thessalonians 3:5 ESV
Another prayer from Paul for the Thessalonians (and for us) in this short verse. This prayer begins with May the Lord and the one referenced as the Lord is Jesus Christ which is common in the New Testament. So there is a direct acknowledgement of His divinity as the prayer is directed to Him.
Next notice, Paul is asking Jesus to direct their hearts into God’s love or their hearts to the love of God. It is easy to mistake what Paul is writing here because it is not God’s love to us as we might think. Instead, what is meant is our love to Him. This is why I used to both the NIV and the ESV as the ESV seems to make this much clearer. Our hearts should be loving God and all He has done and is doing. Thus Paul directs the deep emotions and attitudes of the hearts of the Thessalonians – and us – to their/our Heavenly Father.
Then the end of the end of the verse the Thessalonians directs the Thessalonians – and our – hearts into Christ’s perseverance or to the steadfastness of Christ. Paul is praying they would have the same perseverance or steadfastness or patience of Christ as He demonstrated for us in His earthly life. Through the Holy Spirit we can have the patience of Christ given to us.
This is a very short condensed prayer with the broad idea of Paul’s desire for two major things: our hearts focused on love of God and at the same time an ability to endure evil, suffering, or pain while persisting in keeping our relationship with Christ first and foremost in our lives. Paul is often accused of being wordy and complex, even in scripture, but here he sums up a great deal for us in this short verse and prayer.
Instead of adding more comments, let us make this personal for each of us each and every day as May the Lord direct my heart to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ. The more we do this the more we come closer to God.