dailybiblereader2012

Putting God's Word into Practice…

2 Thessalonians 1 ~ The Good of Suffering

on January 16, 2013

Everyone is afflicted and suffering in some way.  How we view suffering and respond to affliction is key as followers of Jesus Christ.  When we suffer steadfastly, our faith grows abundantly and our love for others increases.  Suffering is not punishment for a lack of faith, but gives us an opportunity to put our faith into action–our response is a tangible measure of our faith.

There are two promises from God in this passage in the midst of our suffering.

  1. God will repay those who afflict us with affliction.  He sees and will judge.
  2. Relief is coming!  He will grant ETERNAL relief from suffering when we are with Jesus in Heaven.  There is no suffering in the presence of Jesus–because their is no sin, crying or death in heaven.

Although suffering is a normal part of living in a world where there is sin and death, our suffering is not wasted when we surrender it to God.  God desires to use suffering to:

  • Make us worthy to be called by the name of Christ, who suffered even to death on our behalf.
  • Show His goodness in how he works in our suffering.
  • Build our faith as we see His power in suffering.
  • Put Jesus on display in my life so He gets glory.
  • Change us in such a way, that by God’s grace, I will get glory from Him.  Can you imagine that?  I picture it like this…After a lifetime of affliction and suffering, seeing Jesus, wanting to marvel at Him, yet hearing Him say, “You suffered well!  Your faith is amazing! Come on in to enjoy eternal rest!” Takes my breath away…

Unfortunately that is not the end result of every human life of suffering.  There is also a place of eternal suffering and destruction.  And it will be filled with those who do not know God or believe in Jesus Christ. Verse 9 says, “They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might.” Some might think sarcastically, “Away from the presence of the Lord? OOOh horrible suffering?” Everything good on earth is from the Lord.  Everything beautiful, satisfying, living is from the Lord.  The ability to smile and laugh comes from God.  All good in mankind is from the Lord.  Psalm 16:11 says, “In His presence is fullness of joy and at His right hand are pleasures forevermore.”  Away from the presence of the Lord is an eternity without joy and pleasure.

Every time you smile today, let it remind you that there is a God who gives joy, and He is worth knowing and believing!  He gives hope in earthly suffering and wants to rescue all from eternal suffering and put us in a place of eternal relief and joy.

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3 responses to “2 Thessalonians 1 ~ The Good of Suffering

  1. Barb Miller says:

    WOW! That’s powerful. I don’t think people realize what the Love of God provides. I think it is what we most take for granted, and just take, take, take. Without Him will be utter Hell and all it includes…..

  2. angelanowak says:

    There are so much confusion on the subject today. Thank you for clear explanation. Those (which all of us at one time or the other) who are in pain will be greatly helped because it is hard to think for yourself while in a trial. One suggestion if I may, I think if you put the words of Christ in a different colour it will make it stand out better. I haven’t worked out how to do it myself, but your site looked marvelous. On Google plus where I was for 8 months so much easier to work things out. with love in Christ, Angela.

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