This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering– since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed. To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, 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. 2 Thessalonians 1:5-12
Sometimes I hear some Christians questioning the faith of other Christians who it seems are enduring hard times. If only they would have more faith, God would deliver them from whatever afflicts them. That is not necessarily true as we see in today’s verses. Yes God will remove all our afflictions but we are only promised that when Jesus returns. What often gets missed is that God can show His glory in our healings and in our afflictions. Sometimes we concentrate on the healing and miss the other.
It is easy to glorify God when things are great. We love to point to miraculous healings as evidence of God’s glory and mercy. When the suffering ends we have no problem giving God His due. What we can forget is that others are watching us during the hard times. It is how we behave then that can show the world that God deserves our praise even during our hardest trials.
How much greater a testimony of someone who continues to praise God even when they are enduring pain and suffering? Unbelievers aren’t just watching us when things are going well. Everyone can have a good attitude during the good times. It is how we act when things are not going well that can set us apart from the world. This doesn’t mean to revel in your misery or praise God for our suffering. It does mean to continue to praise God no matter what is happening in our lives. Our joy should not be dependent on our circumstances. The joy we have in the Lord is there always.
We can look at Job to see how we should act during the hard times. When Job’s wife told him to curse God and die Job refused to curse God. He knew that God was with him no matter how bad things were. God never forsakes us He is always with us. The troubles we endure may be refining us for something greater. Maybe there is someone around us that needs to see how God carries us through the hard times. How we handle adversity can be a blessing to others and who knows maybe bring them to a relationship with God.
I do not know what your current circumstances are but if you are God’s know that He has a plan for you and what you may be suffering now is only for a short time. What God has in store for you will last an eternity. I try to mimic Paul and find joy no matter what my circumstances but sometimes I forget. I may forget but God never forgets.
Have a blessed day,