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. 2 Thessalonians 1:3-4

This short epistle is closely linked to Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians.  It clarifies further the picture of the future Paul had taught them but about which they were still confused.  The letter is meant to be strong encouragement to those who are now experiencing persecution for their faith in Christ.  It is especially meaningful to all who undergo such sufferings.

Date and Author.  Most believe this letter was written within three or four months of the first, giving us a date of A.D. 51 or 52.]

Occasion.  The growing persecution of the believers in Thessalonica led some to believe they were living in the troubled “day of the Lord” about which Paul and the OT taught.  Paul writes to correct this misunderstanding and to instruct them in living under persecution.

Before Reading.  The question to ask before reading this book is, How do I respond to pressures or persecution?  There is information here about the future that God has in store for us.  But the emphasis of the book is on living for Jesus in troubled times.

 

[Discrepancy between what Paul wrote about and the way small groups of Christian churches are run which focuses on individual needs and wellbeing.  Paul does not teach nor pray for individual wellbeing.  He is not concerned about the sufferings of the believers. Not because he is callous but because that is expected and even the evidence that God’s judgment is right.

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. 2 Thessalonians 1:5

On the contrary, he “boasts about your perseverance and faith in all persecutions and trials you are enduring.”

Yesterday, during our night time prayer, I prayed that Peter, my husband, will not fart at the Thanksgiving Dinner table.   That would be a major embarrassment.  He has been farting a lot lately even in the confined space of our car!

This morning after reading this, I’m thinking that actually speaking the truth in a church group would be received like I just made a major stink.  People won’t be just annoyed by it but would be seriously offended.

But perhaps that’s what I need to do.  I’m a journalist after all.  God would be pleased.  And Paul would be proud of me too if I fart.]

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