Session 5

Are you stuck in idle?

From 2 Thessalonians: A 5-Day Devotional

Most of us are pretty good at waiting for things. We wait in line at the grocery store. We even wait for our overpriced cup of coffee each morning. We expect to wait, and we’re OK with it. But, when God makes us wait, we find ourselves feeling discontent and anxious, questioning our Creator.

If God is for me, why is He making me wait?

If we’re not careful, we can become hopeless and before we know it, we’ve given up on working hard to do good. The church in Thessalonica faced this while waiting on Jesus to return. They thought they could just do nothing while they waited. Yet, the Bible teaches there is still work to do in the midst of our waiting.

In 2 Thessalonians 3:6-18, Paul speaks about the pitfalls of idleness. Idleness comes from the habit of doing nothing or avoiding work. As believers, we're called to follow the example of Jesus. While on earth, Jesus was a carpenter. He earned His living.

Paul followed Jesus’ example, and reminds the Thessalonians, “For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you” (2 Thessalonians 3:7-8).

Working hard doesn't mean we never accept hospitality. It just means we don’t depend on others for our living. Paul tells us idleness leads us to the even worse sin of gossip. “We hear that some among you are idle and disruptive. They are not busy; they are busybodies” (2 Thessalonians 3:11).

Whatever we may be waiting for, we must make sure our waiting never turns into idleness. The Bible says to, “never tire of doing what is good” (2 Thessalonians 3:13). When hopelessness creeps in, we can remember the promise of Psalm 128:2: “You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours.”


  • What would your life look like if you began to work hard in everything you do and do good towards everyone you meet?
  • What is one way you can develop better patience with God?
  • What step do you need to take today to work hard while you wait?

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