11 With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith. 12 We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
In the first letter to the church at Thessalonica, we learn that the members were persecuted, doctrinally misled by false teachers, and engaged in sinful practices contrary to Paul’s instruction. The occasion of the second letter was prompted by news that the church was maturing and expanding despite intensified persecution. (2 Thess. 1:3) They were growing and so was their opposition.
When we purpose in our hearts to be all-in for Christ, there will be resistance from people, or circumstances, or both. In the verses leading up to our focus text, Paul assures his friends in the faith that God will reward their faithfulness and punish their persecutors and those who reject Christ. Payday someday. Reward for the faithful. Eternal torment for the unredeemed.
God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. 2 Thessalonians 1:6-7
The payback Paul refers to here is yet to come, “…when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels.” (v7) Ultimately, the Lord’s righteous judgement will be declared and enforced. Whatever trouble we have endured for our faith in Christ will be vindicated.
In this context Paul writes, “With this in mind, we constantly pray for you…” (v11) Paul and other Christians were praying for the brethren at Thessalonica to persevere in the faith and grow in the Lord despite the mighty winds of adversity. Hang in there. God will honor your faithfulness. He will make things right.
We should always be encouraged when we know others are praying for us. Like us, they’re going through the battles of life, but care enough to appeal to the Lord on our behalf. When we take time to pray for others we’re saying, “I’ve got my problems — but that doesn’t stop me from caring about you and your concerns.”
As Christians, we’re in this thing together. We’re family.
Paul prayed that the Lord would enable the Thessalonian Christians to be “worthy of His calling.” (v11) There’s no higher honor than to be recognized as a faithful servant of Christ.
The Apostle prayed for the Lord’s “power” to be active in their lives enabling them to attain “every desire for goodness and…every deed prompted by faith.” (v11)
What could be better than faith backed by the power of God? Recently, I watched a military movie. Can’t remember the name. In one scene, a soldier was struggling to climb over a barrier. A buddy came along and supplied the extra push needed to get his fellow soldier to the other side. Faith backed by God’s power enables us to surpass our inadequacies and overcome the barriers of life.
Paul wanted to see evidence of their faith and the power of God in their lives. Why? Because it would bring glory to Jesus and show them to be the real deal.
How awful to have someone say, “I didn’t know you were a Christian.” If faith is real and the Lord’s power is at work, that light’s got to shine.
Without question, Jesus is worthy. He is and forever shall be the name above all names. But for those of us who belong to the Lord, is there enough evidence to show us to be worthy of Him?
May it never happen, but if you were ever tried in a court of law as a follower of Christ, would there be enough evidence to convict you? He is worthy (Rev. 4:11), but are your worthy of His calling?
For more on this topic, check out this article: Don’t Let Anything Keep You from Eternal Life with Jesus
Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 4 (October – December) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.