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Session 4 – Justice At Last!
Sometimes we just need to know that there will be tangible justice. We join with the Psalmist,
How long, Oh, Lord! How long…
The early Christians went through such ardent and constant persecution that they needed to know their labor was not in vain and the suffering would end. And so, St. Paul writes to them in 2 Thessalonians 1:3-8:
“We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing. Therefore we ourselves boast about you in the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith in all your persecutions and in the afflictions that you are enduring. This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering— since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.”
Some exciting bullet points in this passage about justice –
· Persecution will be a part of our Christian walk – yuck, but true. And we found out in week one that Truth is better. J Verse 7 tells us that relief will come.
· Verse 7 also tells us that we may not be afflicted, but others are. Have you seen the images of Christians across the world dying for their faith? We can pray this verse over those undergoing persecution. We can cry out for justice on their behalf, praying “Come, Lord Jesus, Come.”
· There will be an end to the struggle and it will be Glorious. We can “leave it” to God, like we talked about in day 3, and then stand in awe one day when He comes “with mighty angels in flaming fire.” What a picture! God sitting on the mercy seat carried on wheels of fire and holy angels (Daniel 7:9), at His name knees bowing, tongues confessing (Philippians 2:10-11). Wow!
Perhaps, most notably, this passage tells us that God cares. He is the God who sees. Our pain, our struggle does not go unnoticed. When evil pushes in, our Just and Gracious God will respond in His time. Often the problem is, we don’t like the timing. But I think we’re getting there. We need each other. Just like the Apostle Paul, we can spur one another on.
We can pray, praise, and give thanks with one another.
We can cry together in the unjust, and rejoice together as His plans unfold (v. 3).
We can boast at one another’s faithfulness (v. 4).
We can verbally point out the evidence of faith we see in the believers around us (v. 5).
I can see the evidence, sister. I can see it in you, right now, as we share in the Word together. Thank you for sharing this moment with me. May He keep us faithful to the End!
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