2 Thessalonians 1
This is the second letter written to the Thessalonians. It was written by Paul along with Silvanus (aka Silas) and Timothy. Silvanus was with Paul in Thessalonica when he founded the church and Timothy had delivered the first letter so the Thessalonians knew them. Paul, of course starts his letter extending grace and peace.
“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Thessalonians 1:2
“We ought always to give thanks to God for you brothers, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing.” 2 Thessalonians 1:3
The church in Thessalonica seemed to be getting a lot of things right. The emphasis that Paul puts on this verse with “we ought always” and “as is right” shows that they were possibly very humbled by the accolades that Paul had sent them with the first letter. They had possibly responded with humility and were uncomfortable with how much Paul had built them up before. But Paul is letting them know that he boasts in them and that he will continue to because of their faith and love that they have for each other and the fact that it is growing.
“This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering- since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.” 2 Thessalonians 1:5-8
Paul is saying your faith is evidence of the “righteous judgment of God” and their faith is what makes them worthy of the kingdom of God. And even though some may feel that their faith is bringing about their suffering, that God will repay “with affliction” those who afflict. When our faith goes through the fire it does nothing but grow if we hold fast to that faith. Suffering affliction and persecution and walking in it with faith is what shows the world the evidence of God in our lives. Don’t miss the encouraging words here too. That God will repay those who afflict christians and that he will “grant relief” to those who are afflicted. This too shall pass. When you are going through things- persecutions, trials, troubles, afflictions, and you continue to walk in faith, your faith will grow and you can know that the troubles and trials will pass and God will give you/us rest. And God will repay those who may be causing these afflictions. God takes it personally when his children are afflicted or persecuted.
Paul ends this chapter with a prayer for them.
“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 Thessalonians 1:11-12
This is another good one to pray over your people. I pray it for myself too.
Oh Lord Jesus make us worthy of the calling that you have placed on us. May others see the faith and power in our life so that You may be glorified according to the grace that You have given sweet Lord.
Please pray for your church and your pastor today.