Once we entrust our lives to God, are we exempt from pain and the difficulties of life? Does our relationship with God provide protection against suffering? In Scripture, we see a group of people whose circumstances shed light on these questions. In 2 Thessalonians 1:3-5, the Apostle Paul wrote to the Thessalonians, “We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brethren, as is only fitting, because your faith is greatly enlarged, and the love of each one of you toward one another grows ever greater, therefore, we ourselves speak proudly of you among the churches of God for your perseverance and faith in the midst of all your persecutions and afflictions which you endure. This is a plain indication of God’s righteous judgment so that you will be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which indeed you are suffering.”
Let’s examine this text by defining three words: perseverance, faith and endure. Perseverance means “patience or endurance in difficult circumstances.” The Thessalonians were not surrendering to their circumstances, nor were they running away to get out of the situation.
Faith means “to believe, to be fully persuaded.” In context, their faith and trust were in God, who enabled them to accept their circumstances and cope with these trials.
Endure means to “patiently wait.” God gave them the inner strength to enable them to be steadfast, to patiently wait in the midst of difficult circumstances.
According to these definitions, what enabled the Thessalonians to cope with their situation? It was their faith in God.
For His Glory,
Pastor Bernie Miller