I’m reading through First and Second Thessalonians. Several times, Paul mentions “walking worthy of God” or “being counted worthy.”
1 Thessalonians 2:12 That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.
2 Thessalonians 1:5 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:
2 Thessalonians 1:11 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:
The second epistle opens with a charge to keep enduring the persecution and tribulations which they are suffering. Paul isn’t specific about what they were suffering, but I think that helps us apply this principle to our own lives. My trials and tribulations look different from yours. But each set of circumstances is crafted by the Master Artist to paint a beautiful picture out of our lives which will ultimately be a masterpiece. A reflection of Himself. Another piece to bring glory to His name.
The trials and difficulties of life are reality. We face some things everyday – like the taunting of unbelieving family members, or the pain of a debilitating disease, and certainly the unfriendliness of a godless society toward our faith. Some things we only walk through for a season. Right now I am in the “terrible twos” phase of child training. I can’t wait for this to end! It may be a broken marriage, the death of a parent, or the rebellion of a prodigal son.
But no matter what you face, or what I face, it can be faced. Because while God is the one who allows the pain in order to increase our faith, He is also the one who hands us the grace – which is always more than enough – to face our particular circumstance. So let’s have the Thessalonian attitude toward suffering:
2 Thessalonians 1:2 Grace unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Verse 4 “…your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure.”
Verse 5 “…that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer.”
2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 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.
He gives the grace. So keep enduring. Then you will be counted worthy. Keep on persevering, and allow God to complete His masterpiece. Because in the end – it’s all about Him. It’s about bringing glory to Him. When I think of life in these terms, everything else seems so insignificant.
I was just reading the story of a girl I knew in elementary and junior high school. She is married now, and she was told that her baby would not survive the pregnancy. In an interview, she said that she was able to face this news with hope, because ultimately everything God does is for our good, and His glory. That’s an amazing thing to say when you don’t know if you will ever hold your baby! And God had a different plan for that family, because her little girl, who was born prematurely and weighing less than a pound, is a miracle story.
My friend had it right. It’s all about Him. Whatever He is doing in my life, or in your life, right now, is for His glory. May we live worthy of this calling.