“We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other” (2 Thess 1:3).
An 1871 painting by John Everett Millais titled Victory O Lord! hangs in the Manchester Art Gallery. It powerfully depicts the story told in Exodus 17 of Moses, Aaron, and Hur during the Battle of Rephidim against the Amalekites. The sun is setting. Aged Moses persists as his helpers, their faces aglow with the victory within Israel’s grasp, support his hands in the rich symbolism of prayer.
Yes, God’s people need help today in facing a relentless enemy. Thus the directive not only to pray but also to “strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees” (Heb 12:12), that is, to encourage those who pray.
Paul’s words exemplify this. The sun is setting on this world! Have you told someone recently of the progress you see them making in growing faith and abounding love? That would be uplifting!