We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him. (2 Thess. 1:12)
Without fail, each book of the Bible addresses holiness or persecution. Most times, the writer addresses both. At a time when it was allowed, a group of my classmates met in the math and science room one day a week for Bible study. They dressed differently, and they acted differently. They weren’t the popular kids. While they were learning how to live godly lives, students chided them. Others snickered behind their backs. This is an example of persecution on a small scale yet nevertheless hurtful.
On a larger scale, churches see revival and spiritual growth when its members continue kingdom work. Their service within the church and the community, worship—in spirit and in truth—increasing love and faith, and Christian unity all honor God. He rewards these efforts, just as Paul told this struggling church in Thessalonica. Staying for the long haul, whatever the changes and trials, a church will flourish.
Persecution happens on a much larger scale where we may not hear of it. For believers abroad, sometimes being found with a Bible is a crime. Paul had completed missionary trips before writing this letter. To the Thessalonian church, he offered encouragement and reminded them of God’s promises. God doesn’t forget anyone who confesses his name. Ultimately, we all enjoy grace and peace from God the Father.
Remain steadfast in the church over which God reigns.
Paula Geister lives in Michigan and writes Bible studies for her church. She enjoys reading and watching her rabbit jump around the house.
© 2019 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.