What does 2 Thessalonians 3:5 mean?
ESV: May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.
NIV: May the Lord direct your hearts into God's love and Christ's perseverance.
NASB: May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the perseverance of Christ.
CSB: May the Lord direct your hearts to God's love and Christ's endurance.
NLT: May the Lord lead your hearts into a full understanding and expression of the love of God and the patient endurance that comes from Christ.
KJV: And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.
NKJV: Now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ.
Verse Commentary:
Paul prays for the Lord to direct his readers' hearts into God's love and into the steadfastness of Christ. The Greek word translated as "direct" here is kateuthynai. This means to "clear away obstacles, or to guide." Paul is asking the Lord to move aside barriers that threatened to impede his readers' spiritual progress. An ever-increasing thankfulness for God's love would keep them on track spiritually. It is impossible to love the worldly, unspiritual things of this life and truly appreciate God's love at the same time (1 John 2:15).

Paul also asks God in this verse to direct his readers into the steadfastness of Christ, They faced many trials and persecution, but Christ was their example of facing trials and persecution with patient endurance. The writer to the Hebrews cited Jesus as the prime example of such patient endurance. He wrote in Hebrews 12:1–2: "Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross."
Verse Context:
Second Thessalonians 3:1–5 requests prayer that, as Paul spread the gospel, it would bear fruit as it had when the Thessalonians received it. His appeal also includes a hope that he would be delivered from wicked men. He expresses confidence that the Lord would strengthen his readers and protect them from Satan. He is certain the Thessalonian believers would obey his commands, and he prays that they would love God and adhere to Paul's teachings.
Chapter Summary:
Paul expresses confidence that the Thessalonians would do what he commanded. He addresses the sin of idleness in the lives of some of the believers at Thessalonica, commanding the church to avoid an idle brother. Paul also points to his own example of diligence, when he refused to rely on charity. Paul clearly separates charity for the needy from foolishly supporting those who are merely lazy: If anyone is not willing to work, don't feed him. The letter ends with a prayer for peace among the Thessalonian believers. Paul also assures his readers that 2 Thessalonians is authentic because it bears his signature.
Chapter Context:
The prior chapter explained the events which would precede the ''day of the Lord:'' a time of severe judgment. Among these were a time of deep spiritual rebellion and the rise of a figure referred to as the ''man of lawlessness.'' Chapter 2 ended with a reference to the Thessalonians being established in good works. This chapter continues that theme, focusing on the need for Christians to exhibit a strong work ethic. This extends to the way the church applies charity, not wasting it on those who are capable of work, but simply choose not to. These thoughts complete Paul's second letter to the Thessalonians.
Book Summary:
Second Thessalonians follows Paul's earlier letter to the same group of Christian believers. In 1 Thessalonians, Paul had praised them for their faithfulness and given them reassurances about the day of the Lord. This included teachings on the rapture and a description of death as ''sleep'' from a Christian viewpoint. In this second letter, Paul corrects possible misunderstandings about those ideas. Among his teachings here are the importance of a good work ethic and God's impending judgment on sin, including judgment on those who persecute the Christian church. Paul also provides the Thessalonians with reassurances that they have not somehow missed out on Christ's return.
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