Inward and outward characteristics

“May the Lord direct your hearts so that you may feel the love of God and display the endurance which Christ can give” 2 Thes 3.5 Barclay.

In the last verse of this passage we see what we might call the inward and the outward characteristics of the Christian.

The inward characteristic is the awareness of the love of God, the deep awareness that we cannot drift beyond his care, the sense that the everlasting arms are underneath us. One of the basic needs of life is security and we find that need met in the consciousness of the unchanging love of God.

The outward characteristic is the endurance which Christ can give. We live in a world where there are more nervous breakdowns than at any time in history. It is a sign that more and more people have the feeling that they cannot cope with life. The outward characteristic of the Christian is that when others break he stands erect and when others collapse he shoulders his burden and goes on.

With the love of God in his heart and the strength of Christ in his life a man can face anything.

—Wm. Barclay, DSB.