2 Thessalonians 1
Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
Grace unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth;
So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:
Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer:
Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you;
And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,
In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;
When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.
Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power:
That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Reason for Praise
If your friends were to talk about your life, what would they say? Would hearing what they say encourage or discourage you? Could your parents or friends say what Paul said about the Thessalonians in this first chapter? Paul first mentioned that he had noticed that their faith was growing more and more. Is your faith stronger today than it was at the beginning of this school year? Paul could see that their love for each other was also growing. Can you point to signs during this past year that show your love for others has also grown? Finally, Paul said that they were demonstrating perseverance and faith in the midst of persecution and trials. They hung in there and did not give up even when the going got tough. As you look back over the year so far, do you think this could be said about you? Have you demonstrated perseverance and faith in the midst of persecution and trials? As you look back over this year, can you see that your faith and your love for others is the same as it was when the year started? In what ways do you see it growing? Are you strong enough to persevere in hard times? What would it take to improve?
What part of your life demonstrates that your faith is growing?
What qualities demonstrate that your love for others is growing?
What shows that you persevere in faith in persecution and trials?
In light of this passage, what personal commitment can you make?