January 12, 2021
2 Thessalonians 1:3-5 (NKJV) – 3 We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other, 4 so that we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure, 5 which is manifest evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you also suffer;
God has not promised to shield Christians from all trails, hardships, and tribulations. Rather, He offers us His love and hope in the future plans that He has. Despite the tough tribulations and challenges we face, we can be challenged to have patience with the Lord and grow in our faith.
What trial or tribulation are you currently going through or have you gone through recently?
Were you able to be patient with the Lord and grow in your faith? How so?
Though difficult, Christian hardship and tribulations actually testify of the existence and goodness of God. We can clearly see God in the hearts and minds of those who are suffering. It is in their response, the growth they have from their hardship, the way they minister and relate to others going through a similar hardship, etc. that the work of God becomes clear. No one but God can be responsible for the work that is seen in that Christian’s life.
How do you think your response to your hardship testifies of God?
2 Thessalonians 1:11 (NKJV) – 11 Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power,
In verses 6-10, Paul talks about how our God is just and will punish the unrighteous and protect and avenge the innocent. In verse 11, he begins the conclusion of his letter praying for the salvation and fulfillment of God’s work in the unrighteous.
We do not hope for the destruction of people we do not like or who cause pain and evil towards us and the world. Instead, we need to pray that the Lord will reach them and fulfill the same grace towards them that He applied to us.
When someone causes you pain or does evil against you, how do you react?
In what ways can you change your response to testify of God and towards prayer for the unrighteous person’s salvation?