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  • Writer's pictureRICHARD DEAN BROOKS



4Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring.5All this is evidencej 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. 6God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you 7and 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. 8He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9They will be punished with everlasting destructiont and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might 10on 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.

1: 4-6   Paul had been persecuted during his first visit to Thessalonica (Acts 17: 5-9). Those who had responded to his message and had become Christians were continuing to be persecuted by both Jews and Gentiles. In Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians, he had said that Christ’s return would bring deliverance from persecution for the believers and judgment on the persecutors. Some believers, however, misinterpreted Paul’s words and expected Christ to return right away to rescue and vindicate them. Therefore, Paul had to point out that while waiting for God’s kingdom, believers could and should grow in their perseverance and faith through the hardships they were suffering.

1: 4   The keys to surviving persecution and trials are perseverance and faith. When faced with crushing troubles, we can have faith that God is using our trials for our good and for his glory. Knowing deep down that God is fair and just will give us patience in our suffering because we know that he has not forgotten us. In his perfect timing, he will relieve our suffering and punish those who persecute us. If you or a friend are experiencing a trial or persecution, remember God’s timing. Write down any times you recognize God working, and ask him to give you endurance and faithfulness as you wait on him to move in your life.

1: 5   As we live for Christ, we will experience troubles because we are trying to be God’s people in a perverse and distorted world. Much of the adversity and suffering we face in life is due to this fallen and sinful world, the battle between good and evil, and the struggle between our sinful nature and our new nature. Paul teaches that part of God’s plan is to use these trials and difficulties for our benefit and to help us grow strong and mature in our faith so that we can be worthy disciples of Jesus. Our problems can help us look upward and forward instead of inward (Mark 13: 35-36; Philippians 3: 13-14), they can build strong character (Romans 5: 3-4), and they can provide us with opportunities to comfort others who also are struggling (2   Corinthians 1: 3-5). So take courage, because if you are sincerely trying to follow Jesus, then your troubles may actually indicate that you are living faithfully for him and he is working powerfully through you to grow you into full spiritual maturity. During these difficult times, you are experiencing the privilege of showing that you are worthy of God’s kingdom (also see 2   Thessalonians 1: 11)

1: 7   The relief mentioned by Paul has two dimensions: (1)   We can gain relief in knowing that our sufferings are strengthening us, making us ready for Christ’s kingdom. (2)   We can gain relief in the fact that one day everyone will stand before God. At that time, wrongs will be righted, judgment will be pronounced, and evil will be terminated.

1: 9   The everlasting destruction that Paul describes is the lake of fire (see Revelation 20: 14-15)— the place of eternal separation from God. People who refuse to follow Jesus will be separated from God for eternity without hope for salvation.Tyndale. NIV Life Application Study Bible.


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