“Give Thanks For One Another” ( 2 Thessalonians 1: 3, NEB ) by Carley Evans


“Our thanks are always due to God for you, brothers. It is right that we should thank Him, because your faith increases mightily, and the love you have, each for all and all for each, grows ever greater.”

 

Notice the attitude of Paul, Silvanus and Timothy towards their brothers in Christ as exhibited here in the beginning of their letter “to the congregation of Thessalonians who belong to God” (2 Thessalonians 1:1). They express gratitude to God for increasing faith and for love shared — “each for all and all for each.” They commend the Thessalonians “because [their] faith remains so steadfast under all [their] persecutions, and all troubles [they] endure.” (2 Thessalonians 1:4)

 

Paul, Silvanus and Timothy exhort this congregation to “never tire of doing right.” (2 Thessalonians 3:13) And they write that “if anyone disobeys our instructions given by letter, mark him well, and have no dealings with him until he is ashamed of himself.” Then Paul clarifies, “I do not mean to treat him as an enemy, but give him friendly advice, as one of the family.” (2 Thessalonians 3:14-15)

 

We are not to treat one another as if we are enemies. For we are not enemies; we are members of the one family — the family of God. Instead, we are to be grateful to God for one another, for our mutual faith and our growing love for each other.

“But The Lord Is Faithful” (2 Thessalonians 3: 3, HCSB) by Carley Evans


Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy inform the church of the Thessalonians that God protects Christians from “wicked and evil men” who do not have faith. In addition, God “strengthens and guards [us] from the evil one.” (2 Thessalonians 3: 2, 3)

God “encourages [our] hearts and strengthens [us] in every good work and word.” (2 Thessalonians 2: 17)

“It is God who is working in [us], enabling [us] both to desire and to work out His good purpose.” (Philippians 2: 13) Therefore, we are to “work out [our] own salvation with fear and trembling.” (Philippians 2: 12)

Why in fear and trembling? Perhaps because we live in a “crooked and perverted generation among whom [we] shine like stars in the world.” (Philippians 2: 15) Perhaps because the evil one prowls among us like a “roaring lion” wishing to consume us. He actively searches for “anyone he can devour.” (1 Peter 5: 8)

Peter tells us that “the God of all grace, who calls [us] to His eternal glory in Christ Jesus, personally restores, establishes, strengthens, and supports [us] after [we] suffer a little. The dominion belongs to Him forever.” (1 Peter 5: 10 – 11)

Therefore, let us continue in faith, knowing that it is God who upholds us. He sees us through every obstacle and His plans do not fail.