Thanksgiving for Their Growth
Verse 1 – Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, to the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
Verse 2 – Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Verse 3 – We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds towards each other,
Verse 4 – so that we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecution and tribulations that you endure,
Verse 5 – which is manifest evidence of the righteous judgement of God, that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you suffer;
Verse 6 – since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you,
As we live for Christ, we will experience troubles because we live in a perverse world. Some people like to say that these troubles come because of sin or lack of faith, but Paul teaches that they may be a part of God’s plan for believers. Our troubles can help us to depend more on Christ than ourselves and others, instead of on our own abilities. Sometimes our troubles indicate your strong faith and taking a stand in that faith. A day is coming when God will punish those who have persecuted Christians. It will be a just punishment.
Verse 7 – and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels,
Verse 8 – in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The future happiness of believers is often represented as rest. Rest from hardships and rest from pain and sorrows. There is no envy among those who anticipate heaven, there will be none there.
Those who do not know God – those who do not have a relationship with Jesus Christ, and those who do not embrace the precepts and practice the gospel, will be judged.
Verse 9 – These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,
Verse 10 – when He comes in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed.
The word “destruction” does not imply ceasing to exist or annihilation, but separation from God in a miserable state. That is why it’s described as eternal. There comes a day when God throws all His enemies into the lake of fire to be eternally judged (Revelation 20:11-15).
Prayer For God’s Blessing
Verse 11 – Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power,
Verse 12 – that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Our “calling” from God, as Christians, is to strive to be more like Christ. This is a gradual process and lifelong process that will be complete when Christ returns and we see Him face to face. To be “worthy” of this calling means to want to do what is right and good and then do it. None of us are perfect, but we still are moving in that direction as God through His Holy Spirit works in us.