from Lynda Lindsey
So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter. May our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who loved us and by His grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word. II Thessalonians 2:15-17
But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one. We have confidence in the Lord that you are doing and will continue to do the things we command. May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance. II Thessalonians 3:3-5
Persecution, trials, false teachings; evil, wickedness, rebellion. Be ready for what comes. Know the Word of God such that error can be detected; work hard to establish others in the Good News of Christ. Persevere. Focus on the goodness of God, the power of God’s Holy Spirit keeping us on the firm path, and the work of Jesus Christ on the cross saving us from sin and death. We become like those we spend time with, so it’s very important to spend time reading and praying through the Scriptures. Paul dismisses those who willfully choose rebellion, as busybodies and meddlers, and instructs the assembly to have nothing to do with them.
Paul’s letter, even while detailing frightful coming events at the time of Jesus’ 2nd Coming, is filled with joy and hope. He encourages the believers to stand firm, to hold to right doctrine, affirms their growing faith and love, and shares with them how to live a God-honoring life until Jesus’ return.
God the Father and His Son, our Lord Jesus, have lavished their eternal love, encouragement, and hope in our hearts, strengthening us in our every deed and word. In addition God strengthens us and protects us from the evil one. How much more affirmation do we need? Paul is unshakable in his confidence that his friends and brothers in the Lord, will do what is right. We too can honor that same confidence. Stand firm. Hold fast. Let your heart receive eternal encouragement.