2 Thessalonians 1:3 We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth;
4 So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:
5 Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer:
6 Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you;
The Thessalonian believers chose to willingly trust Christ as Saviour and to obediently become His followers. According to Paul’s account, these believers endured great difficulties because of their faithfulness to the Lord. Paul commended them for their patience and faith for enduring these persecutions and tribulations. Unfortunately, far too many Christians today are unwilling to live godly (2 Timothy 3:12) for fear that living the Christian life will bring persecution and ridicule. These believers in Thessalonica understood what it was like to have people scoff at them for their boldness in the faith. They understood what it felt like to be mocked and cursed for their unwillingness to compromise. This is why Paul praised them. They endured the persecutions and tribulations with patience and faith. The world needs more Thessalonian type believers in the church today.
· (For children): Your friends at school or your neighbours laugh at you for believing the creation story found in the Bible. They do this because schools today teach that a big explosion made the world and God did not create it. Who is right: your friends or God’s word? Believe God, pray for them, and glorify God that He has counted you worthy to suffer for His sake (Philippians 1:29, 1 Peter 3:14).
· (For everyone): Have you ever had someone mock you for being a Christian or living your scriptural convictions? How did you respond when they gave you a hard time? It is not just worldly unbelievers that give Christians a hard time. Unfortunately, sometimes other believers are the Christian’s worst adversaries.
· Has the Lord dealt with you about making changes to your life? Have you refused fearing the persecution that may follow? Consider this: would you rather deal with the mockery of men now or face the displeasure of Almighty God?
· Ask God to make you more bold. Ask Him to help you overcome your fear of persecution.
· Ask God to teach you to trust in Him and show you that the “fear of man bringeth a snare” (Proverbs 29:25).
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