2 Thessalonians 1
(1) What does this passage teach about God?
In verse 6, the Bible gives a very important principle to understand during times of suffering such as the one the Thessalonian church was undergoing: God is just. The result of God’s justness is, “He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are trouble”. Verse 7 points to the day when Jesus will return as a reason to live with hope even in suffering. Verses 8 and 9 may seem harsh, but the Scripture says those who reject Jesus will be judged and punished.
(2) What does it teach about me?
Verse 10 tells us that those who believe in the Gospel will not face the judgment that those who have rejected Jesus will. Verse 11 is a reminder of the importance of prayer in the life of the church, especially in times of persecution or suffering.
3) How must I believe or obey to align my life with God’s Word?
Often the idea of God judging people doesn’t sit well with people. This is an area where we must continue to affirm the truth of Scripture even if we have difficulty understanding how a loving God is also a God who punishes. It is helpful to realize that the occasion of this letter is a time of great persecution of this church. Many were being arrested, beaten, and even killed because of their faith. God loves, so he doesn’t let evil go unpunished. If he didn’t oppose evil, would he be loving? As difficult as this is for many to understand, our prayer should be that of verse 12: may God be glorified in us.