2 Thessalonians 1:5-12
5 All of this proves that when God judges, he is fair. So you will be considered worthy to enter God’s kingdom. You are suffering for his kingdom. 6 God is fair. He will pay back trouble to those who give you trouble. 7 He will help you who are troubled. And he will also help us. All of those things will happen when the Lord Jesus appears from heaven. He will come in blazing fire. He will come with the angels who are given the power to do what God wants. 8 He will punish those who don’t know God. He will punish those who don’t obey the good news about our Lord Jesus. 9 They will be destroyed forever. They will be shut out of heaven. They will never see the glory of the Lord’s power. 10 All of those things will happen when he comes. On that day his glory will be seen in his holy people. Everyone who has believed will be amazed when they see him. That includes you, because you believed the witness we gave you. 11 Keeping this in mind, we never stop praying for you. Our God has chosen you. We pray that he will consider you worthy of his choice. We pray that by his power he will make every good thing you have planned come true. We pray that he will make perfect all that you have done by faith. 12 We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus will receive glory through what you have done. We also pray that you will receive glory through what he has done. We pray all these things in keeping with the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Thessalonian church was young, and maturing, and also under attack, infiltrated by false teachers. There are three main themes:
1) God is just.
2) Jesus is coming back to administer God’s justice.
3) We are praying for you.
In the face of persecution we need to be reminded that God is just. Persecution is evidence that we will be counted worthy of God’s kingdom. Rather than growing bitter when persecuted, the Thessalonians were growing in faith, in their love for one another, and in their ability to endure.
One day God will balance the books.
Open your eyes of faith to see beyond the limits of this life to the day when justice will be rendered. Where God’s people being oppressed, imprisoned and tortured, the truth is that God is just, and that God is not idle even when I don’t see Him intervening.
Why pray? Because God uses our prayers, and prayer changes us. God works in and through our hearts and minds, prompting us through the working of his Spirit.
Our prayers are an encouragement to those who are going through trials. We can be a blessing by praying for others. Remind them that God is just and that Jesus is coming back to make things right. If we do these things, we will have one of the most important ministries we can ever have: the ministry of encouragement.
Thank you Lord that even though I was once your enemy, I received Your forgiveness. When I feel upset by evil around me, I pray that You would intervene, give relief to the persecuted, and change the hearts of the persecutors.
Written by Cathy Croft