(I saw the national dog show a few days ago. The boxer I was rooting for won it’s group, but didn’t win best in show. Then I watched the Super Bowl and my team lost. Next year though, things will be different. Yesterday the closing went through on our house so now we’re out from under it. We’d celebrate, but we’re snowed in and our drains are faulty today. Worse yet, I can’t think of anything much to say at the moment.)
2 Thessalonians 1:3-12, “3We ought always to thank God for you, brothers, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love every one of you has for each other is increasing. 4Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring.
5All this is evidence that God’s judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering. 6God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you 7and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. 8He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power 10on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you.
11With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith. 12We 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.”
As I was researching the early church, I learned that one leader had fled his congregation when persecution hit his neck of the woods. Back in those days, the persecuted church supported one another because few others would. Today there are alot of churches living in the midst of persecution that I can’t help. I don’t have the money, resources, connections, or support that is neccessary for such an operation. I do, however, care about what happens in the lives of my brothers and sisters on the other half of the globe. I know that some churches have driven away their youth by their steadfast clinging to traditionalism. I know that some churches must meet in secret to preserve the lives of it’s congregation. I know that some churches don’t have Bibles. In the early church, the network of believers would take up collections and deliver needed goods just in time. Today a vast majority of American Churches that are doing good just to have the appearance of normalcy in this economy can’t do much for their overseas counterparts. Nor could they help us even if they wanted to. So I take comfort in this prayer because even though I can’t help today’s Thessalonians, God will do a great thing for them and that is more than enough.