Open Heavens Daily Devotional – Weary In Tribulation? (Wednesday 13th June 2018)
Memorise: If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small. Proverbs 24:10
Read: 2 Thessalonians 1:1-12 (KJV)
1 Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
2 Grace unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
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;
7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,
8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;
10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.
11 Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power:
12 That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
Our Lord Jesus Christ never hid from us the truth concerning the Way we have been called to. In the above verse and in several other passages of Scripture, He did not mince words, informing us of the trials, tribulations and persecutions we will face while walking with Him on the straight and narrow way (Mark 10:30, Matthew 24:9). Because we are aware of this truth, we should therefore courageously stand firm in the face of trials of our faith in the day of adversity, your strength is small. What do you do when you discover that your strength is small in proportion to the tribulations you are facing? You cry to God to increase your strength just as our Lord cried to the Father for help in the Garden of Gethsemane, when He was confronted with the great agony of carrying the weight of the sins of the whole world. The Father heard His cry, and He sent an angel to strengthen Him (Luke 22:41-44). What the Father did for Jesus, He will also do for you.
Let us consider some salient points from Paul’s words of encouragement in today’s Bible reading to the brethren in Thessalonica who were facing tribulations. First and foremost, he made them know that the Body of Christ understood what they were passing through and appreciated their endurance in the face of tribulations. Secondly, he tried to lift their spirit by reminding them that their endurance of tribulation would earn them a place in the kingdom of God, and so they should not be weary. Thirdly, he taught them that God would not allow those who were persecuting them to go unpunished. The essence of this was to discourage these brethren from seeking to avenge themselves of their persecutors, since vengeance is the Lord’s and He would definitely repay evil men. Furthermore, he reassured them of the prayers of the saints for them. The heat of those prayers would keep them going irrespective of the cold winds of tribulation blowing against them. The heat of these prayers would keep them going irrespective of the cold winds of tribulation blowing against them.
We must learn from these points not to condemn brethren who are passing through tribulations or trials of faith. There is a tendency for us to always attribute the suffering of the saints to sins they have committed and to condemn them to everlasting “self-examination”. Instead of attributing their tribulations to sin, the Church took glory in the patience of the Thessalonians in the midst of tribulation (2 Thessalonians 1:4). Beloved, be encouraged that the difficult phase of life you are passing through will come to an end soon. So, don’t give up! Your Master shares in your tribulation. Be of good cheer because He has overcome the world for your sake.
Father, please strengthen men further as I journey through the wilderness of the world.
Bible in one year
2 Kings 9
Sing hymn 5
AUTHOR: PASTOR E. A. ADEBOYE