The Day To Come
Lord, make me worthy of Your calling. May Your name be glorified in me according to Your grace (11,12).
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:
2 Grace and peace to you from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Thanksgiving and Prayer
3 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. 4 Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring.
5 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. 6 God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you 7 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. 8 He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might 10 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.
11 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. 12 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.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectGod’s judgment is a difficult topic for many in Western churches. How do you see God—as loving or judging or both?
It’s good to read this letter immediately after its predecessor as there is so much overlap. The persecution that the church endures clearly hasn’t stopped (4). There is still confusion in the church about Jesus’ return (see 2:1,2). But these believers are still hanging in there and are living out their discipleship in love and service. So Paul simply encourages them with the hope of God’s judgment to look forward to (5–10).
A possible reason why we in the West struggle with the idea of judgment is that we haven’t really experienced the fires of hatred simply for trusting Christ, not like believers in the Middle East or Far East do experience. But if you’re in the thick of it, these truths could be the one thing that keeps you persevering. For in a context where human justice is powerless, it is vital to know that God is in control and will make all things right.
And when Jesus does return, he will be glorified by those who have persevered. No wonder Paul prays as he does in verses 11 and 12.
Pray that your trust in the rightness of God’s judgment would grow, so that you can trust him even in the really difficult cases.
Lord God, transform my trust in You into increased service and love for others, whatever the cost.
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