As the Apostle Paul looks back, and thanks God for the way he’s observed the growth in faith and perseverance of the believers at Thessalonica in the face of persecutions and afflictions, he writes to encourage them further.
He reminds them that God will deal with those who’ve been oppressing them, and prays for them, that they’ll be able to stand firm to the end so that Jesus will be glorified in their lives.
But Paul also reminds them they mustn’t let themselves be quickly unsettled or alarmed by the things their opponents say, things that are untrue. They’re not to let any strange ideas or spirits they encounter disturb them, but they must steadfastly continue to grow in grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Whatever the nature of the opposition they encounter, Paul goes on to remind these Christians of their calling by God. It’s to share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because they know that Jesus is coming again and they’ll be gathered to Him, this glory can’t be taken away from them by the world.
In recent years Christians world-wide have been made aware that there’s a growing opposition toward their God-given principles, and Godly heritage. But, like the people Paul was writing to, we also are being encouraged to ‘stand firm, and hold on to’ those things that have been passed on to us. We’re encouraged to look upwards, because the One who has called us ‘to share in His glory’will come again to take us to be with Him for eternity.
The writer of Hebrews says; ‘Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God’ (Hebrews 12:2).
As we get closer to the return of Jesus and are likely to face difficult times and spiritual opposition, let’s follow the words of Jesus; ‘Stand up and lift your heads, because your redemption is drawing near’ (Luke 21:28).
El. Nathan wrote the hymn, which starts:
Jesus is coming! Sing the glad word!
Coming for those He redeemed by His blood,
coming to reign as the glorified Lord! Jesus is coming again!
Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, thank You for saving me and giving me a hope no one can take from me, that You’re coming again. In the meantime, please enable me to keep my eyes fixed on You, keep me faithful to You, and looking forward to Your return so that I shall be unashamed when I meet you, Amen.
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