Friday after the Twelfth Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Posted on September 4, 2020 byunder
Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 3:1-13 (NKJV)
3:1 Therefore, when we could no longer endure it, we thought it good to be left in Athens alone, 2 and sent Timothy, our brother and minister of God, and our fellow laborer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you and encourage you concerning your faith, 3 that no one should be shaken by these afflictions; for you yourselves know that we are appointed to this. 4 For, in fact, we told you before when we were with you that we would suffer tribulation, just as it happened, and you know. 5 For this reason, when I could no longer endure it, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter had tempted you, and our labor might be in vain.
6 But now that Timothy has come to us from you, and brought us good news of your faith and love, and that you always have good remembrance of us, greatly desiring to see us, as we also to see you—7 therefore, brethren, in all our affliction and distress we were comforted concerning you by your faith. 8 For now we live, if you stand fast in the Lord.
9 For what thanks can we render to God for you, for all the joy with which we rejoice for your sake before our God, 10 night and day praying exceedingly that we may see your face and perfect what is lacking in your faith?
11 Now may our God and Father Himself, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way to you. 12 And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you, 13 so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.
“No one should be shaken by these afflictions; for you yourselves know that we are appointed to this.”
St. Paul suffered afflictions. He was opposed in his preaching by his fellow Jews, and he had to bear whatever his “thorn in the flesh” was. People who believe in a ‘theology of glory’ could easily look at those afflictions and be shaken by them, thinking, “If God were really with Paul, why didn’t God make it easier?” They ignore what God says about our crosses and suffering. Paul corrects such false assumptions. He reminds his Thessalonian readers that “we are appointed to this.”
The Lord had His use of Paul’s sufferings. He had use of Joseph’s many years of innocent imprisonment in the book of Genesis. And, of course, He had absolutely salvific use of our Lord’s sufferings. He will have whatever use He wishes of the sufferings to which He has appointed us, as well. Do not be shaken by the afflictions others endure; neither be shaken by your own. God is still with you, working in you to forge spiritual maturity, and using even the hardships you face to advance His gracious will in this world.
Prayer: Almighty and Merciful God, of whose only gift it cometh that Thy faithful people do unto Thee true and laudable service, grant, we beseech Thee, that we may so faithfully serve Thee in this life that we fail not finally to attain Thy heavenly promises; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.