After a six week break, we return to our study of Paul’s letters to the Thessalonians this morning. Once again we find Paul commending the fledgling church for their growing faith in the midst of persecution (2 Thessalonians 1:4)— persecution that had apparently not diminished since his first letter. The themes of patience while enduring trials and the hope in God’s eventual victory are found throughout the service this morning. Psalms and hymns such as Praise To The Lord The Almighty, I Love The Lord He Heard My Voice—Psalm 116, Be My Contender In The Strife—Psalm 35, and Great Is Thy Faithfulness all center around God’s sustaining hand in times of trouble: “He will preserve you while you’re here and save you till the end.” By faith, we look forward to the Lord’s ultimate victory, singing “Our God forever shall abide” (Within Your Temple Lord—Psalm 48), and “with salvation’s walls surrounded” we may smile at all our foes (Glorious Things Of Thee Are Spoken). As John Calvin puts it in his commentary on this passage, “there is nothing that sustains us in tribulations as faith does.” —Henry C. Haffner
Key Words: Church, Grace, Peace, Faith, Love, Persecutions, Afflictions, Enduring
Keystone Verse: We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing. (2 Thessalonians 1:3)
2 Thessalonians 1:1-4
Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, to the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing. 4 Therefore we ourselves boast about you in the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith in all your persecutions and in the afflictions that you are enduring.