10/17/2021 Comfort in trouble

Comfort in trouble

2 Thessalonians 1:1-12; 10/17/2021 BCBC/IOUC; Rev. Paul Wang


In 1 Thessalonians, we talked about ten sermons, which lasted about two and a half months. Today we start to talk about 2 Thessalonians. Obviously, Paul heard the good news of the growth of the church from Timothy, and his heart was filled with thanksgiving and praise. Although they were all in trouble, Paul’s heart was full of comfort. Let’s look at the first point:

Perseverance and faith

The grace and peace in the second verse are expressed in Greek and Hebrew respectively, and they have far-reaching significance. First of all, the reason for patience. Patience comes from the heart, and there are things that are visible and others that are invisible. Paul wrote a letter, signed by his team, including Silas and Timothy. Barnabas, who took him out to the mission field, has already left Paul’s team because Paul could not accept Mark’s weakness. Silas was the decision of the Jerusalem Assembly to ask him to go with Paul. Two “strangers” are in a team, it is not necessary to get together, do you agree? Paul is a newcomer in the mission field. The Jerusalem church sent a supervisor. Paul may not feel comfortable in his heart, right? After all, being supervised is something our old self does not want, right? Timothy was “picked back” by Paul in Turkey, and Paul called him his spiritual son. But when the child grows up, the first intention may be to “triumph over” the father. Such many relationships are enough to construct the reason for the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

Second, the basis of thanksgiving. What is thanksgiving? Why should we be thankful? Can we not be thankful? Do we have to be thankful when we encounter bad things? Both the Thessalonian church and Paul, who had already gone to Corinth, were persecuted by the Jews. Should they also be thankful? Moreover, it was his own compatriots who persecuted Paul’s, God’s chosen people. Should I thank God for allowing persecution to come to me for being persecuted by God’s chosen people? What is it worth for me to be thankful for? In chapter 1 verse 4, Paul said“ Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring. ( 2 Thessalonians 1:4) What Paul saw was that the church still had patience and faith in all persecutions and tribulations. This is the view given by God, which is seeing the comfort behind adversity. Did you see that?

Finally, the growth of faith. Faith grows gradually, do you know? When the years are calm, faith is extremely difficult to grow. The nine fruits of the Holy Spirit often have to be in tribulation. When the days are too smooth, people will not build up the courage to endure adversity. Without pressure, there will be no resistance to pressure. The growth of faith is the same, and it is also inevitable to go through tribulations. You ask God for wisdom, and God may give you difficulties. If you rely on the Lord to overcome difficulties, wisdom is in your heart! Therefore, the growth of faith must have come from the hard-to-believe and almost abandonment of faith. If you were persecuted, wronged, framed, politically afflicted, or troubled, Will you continue to believe in God? If you choose to continue to believe, I would like to congratulate you: Your faith has increased! Let’s look at the second point:

Righteousness and judgment

When we think of righteousness, we might think that we are right, wronged, disadvantaged, or bullied. God’s righteousness will come to judge the other party and bring justice to ourselves. Will it? First of all, patience and faith are proof of righteousness. This is not what I said, but God said. Chapter 1 verse 5: All this is evidence that God’s judgment is right, (2 Thessalonians 1:5a) What Paul is saying is because the brothers and sisters of Thessalonica church still have patience and faith in all kinds of tribulations! This is a matter of God’s glory! We believe in Jesus, and the angelic army is already cheering. We will show the righteousness of God’s salvation by persisting in patience and faith after experiencing adversity! Satan’s accusation fell through, Adam’s breach was blocked, Abraham’s promise was fulfilled, and David’s covenant was fulfilled. Of course, more importantly, the death of Christ Jesus is worth it! The Holy Spirit declares in the hearts of each of us, cheering with the angels: Christ is victorious! This is the value of our patience and faith in adversity!

Secondly, patience in suffering is a proof of righteousness. We may often be trapped in misery and find it hard to extricate ourselves, will it? The cry most often heard is, Lord, why don’t you listen to my prayers? Or, Lord, why did I encounter such a thing? Why doesn’t he have so much suffering? That sort of thing, right? Some of our pastors, perhaps because of love, simply say that suffering comes from Satan! How can God give us suffering? God should give all the money, good times, convenience, etc. to God’s children! 有沒有?Is that so? Have you heard this kind of teaching? That sounds so cool! Believe in Jesus to gain wealth, believe in Jesus to gain power, and believe in Jesus to gain the world! This is completely contrary to the teachings of the Bible and the personal experience of the Lord! When God’s righteousness is to be revealed, our patience in suffering is the proof of God’s righteousness!

Finally, God will add tribulation to those who trouble you! Paul said: God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you. (2 Thessalonians 1:6) This is the sovereignty of God, just to demonstrate His righteousness! However, we must be careful not to overstep and rob God’s authority! cYes, God is indeed the one who will repay the adversity to you. But it never said that we humans can do this. That would be revenge, and it would not please God. What should we do if we see someone doing something evil in God’s eyes? Pray to God and let God accomplish His righteousness. Just as the Israelites waited patiently for 430 years, God sent Moses to send the ten plagues to Pharaoh, leading God’s people out of Egypt, across the Red Sea, up Mount Sinai, into the wilderness, and rushing to Canaan. God’s righteousness must accompany His glory! Let’s look at the third point:

God’s calling and glory

If it weren’t for God’s calling, no one could go through the many tribulations in life and continue to persevere. First of all, we must be worthy of our call. What is considered worthy of the call? Paul gave the answer in the second half of verse five in chapter 1, which is “and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering. ( 2 Thessalonians 1:5b)” To put it bluntly, it is willing to suffer for the Lord. Being persecuted by one’s own compatriots, and still having patience and faith, this is considered worthy of the call. Not only pastors and ministers are called by God, but every child of God is called by God! This is the call of life, the call of going from death to life, the call of being the children of God! In addition, there is another kind of calling, that is, the calling of mission. Broadly speaking, this call is also issued to all believers to commit themselves to the Great Commission of the Lord. Pastors and ministers are only selected as full-time workers, and there is no essential difference between the calling of mission to the believers.

Second, the work done by faith. The work done by faith is all life testimony and ministry based on faith. The testimony of life means that the testimony we live out must be commensurate with what we believe. Whether it is commensurate or not, it has the style of the Lord, the standards of the Bible, the reminder of the Holy Spirit, the supervision of the church, and our personal introspection. As for our ministry, we must take the heart of Jesus Christ as our heart. Is the gospel maximized? Does Christ have sovereignty? Is the motivation aimed at the Lord? Does the effect deviate from focusing on people’s will? All of this constitutes the content of our account of whether we are justified by faith, are you ready?

Finally, be glorified in you. God is a God of glory. There is no need to increase or decrease. We have received great glory from Him! However, God is determined to be glorified in us! Why? Paul said in the last verse of today: “according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:12)” In other words, we can even glorify God! This is what we don’t deserve, all by the grace of the Lord! All our words and deeds should be done for the glory of God! Our life is a living sacrifice, we have the Lord’s appearance in every move, and we should act in the name of God in everything.


Dear brothers and sisters, the comfort in adversity is our patience and faith, revealing the glory of righteousness and judgment in God’s calling to us.

Let us pray……