Eternal Perspective on Suffering
2 Thessalonians 1
Because God will avenge the righteous, we should be patient during times of persecution.
"This world is not my home. I'm just passing through. If heaven's not my home, O Lord, what would I do? The angels beckon me from heaven's open door, and I can't feel at home in this world anymore." We are not of this world; we are sojourners and pilgrims. This world will deal with us unkindly; we cannot expect it to be otherwise. If we insist on getting our meaning or justice in life only from what comes to us in this world, most of us will be gravely disappointed. Complete justice for us will come only "when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels" (v. 7).
The Lord gives us a home in heaven with Him, and so we praise Him for this wonderful gift to us:
Tremble before Him, all the earth.
The world also is firmly established,
It shall not be moved.
Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad;
And let them say among the nations,
"The Lord reigns"...
Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever...
Blessed be the Lord God of Israel
From everlasting to everlasting! (1 Chronicles 16:30-31, 34, 36)
Pause for praise and thanksgiving. Pray this confession to the Lord as you seek to keep your life free from sin:
He will not always strive with us,
Nor will He keep His anger forever.
He has not dealt with us according to our sins,
Nor punished us according to our iniquities.
For as the heavens are high above the earth,
So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him (Psalm 103:9-11).
Confess any sins that the Holy Spirit brings to your mind, and pray this affirmation to the Lord:
I delight to do Your will, O my God,
And Your law is within my heart (Psalm 40:8).
As you make your requests known to the Lord, include:
- Greater faithfulness with your time
- The president, national leaders, national affairs
- Whatever else is on your heart
Finally, offer this prayer to the Lord:
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer (Psalm 19:14).