Stand By Me
Remember when God has been your refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble (Psa. 46:1). Thank him.
Read 2 Thessalonians 1:1-12
 Paul, Silas and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:  Grace and peace to you from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.  We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing.  Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring.  All this is evidence that God’s judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering.  God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you  and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels.  He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.  They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might  on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you.  With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith.  We pray this 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. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION
ReflectWhat does Paul say he prays for the Thessalonians here?
In August and September 2011, 30 Nigerians from three different communities were killed because they were Christians. A 14-year-old Ugandan Muslim girl who turned to Christ was locked up for six months by her father. Her brother smuggled food and water to her to keep her alive. In the same month, an Indian pastor biking out to pray for a villager was brutally attacked by an anti-Christian group. Paul’s words (4-11) are as relevant to suffering believers today as they were to these first-century Christians. The Thessalonian Christians kept going, kept loving, kept believing (3,4) in spite of opposition. Persecution did not stop God’s work in the church then, and it will not stop it now. When Christians cling to God in the midst of terrible suffering it shows that they truly belong to him (5). Those who suffer for Christ may not see justice done and wrongs righted in this life (6,7). That apparent injustice now is terribly hard to endure. That’s why we, like Paul, need to pray for persecuted Christians (11,12); and in light of the terrible final judgment (8,9), we must pray for their persecutors, too.
Search online websites for details of Christians suffering for their faith today. Pray Paul’s prayer (11,12) for them.
Mighty Lord, I pray that You will uphold all who suffer for You and hold back those who persecute them.
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