Patience with Faith, Hope, and Christ Pt II

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2 Thess 1:1 – 12 identifies the Thessalonians receiving acknowledgment for their faith and love. In addition to their faith and love, they endure affliction. Verse 6 emphasizes God's vengeance upon those who afflict persecution. On the other hand, verse 7 places emphasis on the afflicted receiving relief from their persecutors. In both cases, God acts accordingly to those receiving and giving affliction. God's actions demonstrate his active participation in the Thessalonians' lives. While the Thessalonians are afflicted, he provides judgment to those who do not receive salvation through his son on the final day. On the day of judgment, those of faith will be glorified in Jesus. Therefore, God demonstrates his saving grace to those who are afflicted and his judgment upon those who cause affliction.

 

Paul possesses thanksgiving to the Thessalonians for their endurance under affliction and persecution. Their endurance prompts patience or perseverance. While they remain patient, the Thessalonians cling to the piety of life and work, despite the hardships. More importantly, their behavior is anchored in attaining salvation through Christ. In addition, in Christ, God imparts his power to sustain them during their afflictions and persecutions. The example of the Thessalonians' patience and God's redemptive power remain relevant to today's Christians. The scriptures describe clearly that believers will suffer for the sake of the gospel. During such hardships, we are called to endure the afflictions and persecutions, while clinging to our faith in Christ and piety of life. The reward for such patience occurs through the hope in Christ and the power of God through the saving act of his son. It is easy to conclude that in order to possess this level of patience, one must struggle without cause. However, the scriptures indicate that it is not by one's own strength to which deliverance occur. Deliverance occurs by the power of God imparted through Christ. Therefore today's believers are called to hold onto Christ in the midst of our afflictions and persecutions.