Open Your Bible
2 Thessalonians 2:13-17, 2 Thessalonians 3:1-5, Proverbs 10:25, 1 Peter 5:6-11
BY Abby Flynn
As an African-American kid in a predominantly white community, I always knew I was different. But my parents did their best to prepare my siblings and me early on for what life might look like for us as the minority. Yes, we were loved and chosen children of God. But there would be people in the world who wouldn’t like us because of what we looked like. This racial injustice and pain weren’t because God isn’t good. It was because of our humanity, our collective sinful nature, and how the devil often detours our hearts and minds from the truth.
Now, as an adult with my own kids, I can definitely think of times when I was overlooked, underestimated, or treated differently because of what I looked like. But in times like these, I love Paul’s encouragement to the church at Thessalonica: “Stand firm and hold to the traditions you were taught” (2 Thessalonians 2:15).
With these words, Paul is offering the Thessalonians encouragement and a reminder of the greatness of God. Even though they were “outsiders” to much of the rest of the church, “from the beginning” God had chosen them for salvation—all they had to do was believe the gospel and receive God’s grace (vv.13–14).
But here’s the catch: being chosen didn’t make them exempt from pain, and the same goes for us. God’s love and Christ’s endurance are available to all believers, and we need both (2Thessalonians 3:5). That’s because in this world we’ll walk through difficult times and places, and we desperately need the hope of Christ in all situations.
God is faithful. He watches over His children. He doesn’t promise that everyone will like us, that we’ll be treated fairly, or that we won’t encounter difficulty. But He will give us strength! No amount of sin, pain, trials, or disappointment in your life has the power to change His promises (Proverbs 10:25). It’s not always the right time for us to be exalted. Sometimes we need to experience humility. Sometimes we have to grow through our pain. God works in both ways and at all times (1Peter 5:6).
Friend, the devil is active, and if we aren’t rooted in Christ, we’re left susceptible to his attacks. The way we combat the devil is by standing firmly in our faith in God.
Are you experiencing loss? Have you been passed over for an opportunity? Is your family walking through a dark season, facing impossible odds, or wondering how you’ll find the strength to keep going? You are not alone, nor are you abandoned. In fact, you were chosen for salvation. And God will restore, establish and strengthen those who follow Him after their suffering (1Peter 5:10). He still has and He still is the final Word.