2016-12-04 - 2 Thessalonians Study
Letters to a Young Church ~ Fire and Brimstone ~ Conclusion
Now I really believe Paul could write this same letter to us today. There is no question that we are not experiencing the same kind of suffering these early believers did. But there is also no question that many of the difficulties in our lives are because we have chosen to live as the Lord has directed us to.
While we all would like life to be easy, or fair for that matter, we know it is through our experiences in trials that we continue to grow in our dependency on the Lord, and to be more conformed to His image.
Paul’s message of hope, in an eternity with the Lord, is to be our comfort. And the knowledge that what we suffer now will be rewarded in the quality of our relationship with the Lord in eternity can be a true motivator for an attitude of not only acceptance of our circumstances, but joy, knowing we will be greatly recompensed in eternity.
Finally, we know God is just, loving, and merciful. One day, He will reward us for our faith and obedience. We also know He will judge the sins of those who haven’t accepted Christ. This should motivate us to bring the gospel to all those the Lord puts in our path.
As we depend on the Spirit, He will provide the faith, strength and comfort to carry on - no matter how difficult the circumstances. And as we see Christ working in our lives, so will others. Therefore His name will be glorified, and we will be blessed in Him. Through this, others will come to know Him and to desire to grow in their relationship with Him.
It is vital, as we struggle in the difficulties of life, that we remember one fact. What we are suffering for Christ is proof that
“… you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering …” (2 Thessalonians 1:5).
And as you have these opportunities, you will find yourselves in good company, for remember it was said of the apostles that …
“Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name.” (Acts 5:41).
Christ suffered for us, so that we could spend an eternity with Him. Let us praise Him, not for our difficulties but for the blessings and opportunities that come out of them. Finally, that us continue to grow in our faith and agapé, so that we can care for one another as we struggle to be worthy of our God and Father.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. Amen. ~ Romans 15:13
2 Thessalonians Study, to be continued.
All verses are from the English Standard Version (ESV) unless otherwise noted.