Today my reading was 2 Thessalonians, chapter 1. Paul, along with Silas and Timothy are writing this 2d letter to the church at Thessolonica. Paul addresses this letter first with a greeting and a thanksgiving. Apparently the church in Thessolonica is still experiencing afflictions and persecutions, however they remain steadfast in their faith even while enduring. Paul addresses them and tells them that he is using them as an example in their faith to other churches. While Paul I am sure means this as an encouragement to them, can you imagine how it could have made them feel?
I have had things in my life that I have to admit I have really wanted to say to God that if I was enduring only to be an encouragement to others then I didn’t want to be so. Sometimes life is just hard and if you are like me I have wondered why in the world it had to be so hard at times. I am trying to live my life rightly and I am trying to walk in step with him. What more do I have to do to get the easier life. Paul also goes on to tell them that sometimes our suffering is what makes us worthy of the kingdom of God. I have felt ashamed before when I would get so whiny about things and circumstances and I took a “why me Lord” approach to life that when I look at what Jesus endured for me on the cross then my “why me’s” hold very little water. Paul tells them in this passage that God will repay those who afflict you. and that he will grant relief to those who are afflicted. When others are bringing persecution and afflictions on God’s children they will one day pay. And if we just keep on walking and staying steadfast in our faith He will also grant relief.
This has been a hard week. There have been hard things going on in our world. However, I can’t not think that God is still on the throne and that He is working things for His utmost glory in our world. Some days, I don’t want to be an example for others, there I said it, but if we are walking in step with Him and if we are trying to walk on purpose with Him then that is exactly what happens. Wouldn’t it be nice to just check out for a while and bury our heads in the sand but that is not what we are called to do. Paul ends this chapter of his letter like this:
To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. 2 These. 1:11-12
I pray this for you and I pray this for me that God will make us worthy of his calling. I pray that he will give us resolve. Sometimes that’s the only way to get through a hard week. I pray that every work of faith done by you and by me BY HIS POWER will glorify the Lord Jesus! And I pray for grace! Grace to you, Grace to me and Grace to our country and our world. Lord Jesus give us steadfast faith, give us resolve and give us GRACE!