Reading: “First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all —Romans 1:8

We noted previously that Paul could give thanks for all the saints of God, including those in Rome whom he had not met and who were not the fruit of his own labor. Today we want to consider another striking characteristic of Paul’s prayer for “all saints”: those on his prayer list were not all perfect, yet he was thankful for what they one day would be.

I find that sometimes we look at others and point out the graces they lack rather than the graces they have. I hate to hear Christians speak disparagingly of weaker brethren who do not yet possess the level of grace they presume to possess. Sometimes we may be tempted to look down on another man because he has not attained the same level of understanding that we have. Rather than trying to encourage such saints, sometimes believers discourage these brethren.

Christian, look for grace in a man and thank God for it even if it be a small amount. Don’t be frustrated by his weakness but pray for his weakness and be thankful for his strengths. Remember the confidence that Paul had in the Philippians: “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).

“If you are going to take a brother down, take him down on your prayer list.” Stanley Barnes