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Working His Purposes

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We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other, 2 Thessalonians 1:3

Paul preferred not to spend his time chiding his readers, demanding that they grow in Christian graces. Rather, he trusted God, through His Holy Spirit dwelling in them, to do that. He allowed the Lord to bring forth the fruits of the Spirit. And God sometimes did it in unexpected ways.

At the time Paul wrote this letter, the Thessalonians were suffering persecution. Jesus warned that often during such suffering, "the love of many will grow cold" (Matthew 24:12 NKJV). It also causes believers to betray one another (v. 10). But this wasn't happening in Thessalonica. Instead, persecution was causing the Christians to love each other even more.

Paul was so struck by this beautiful fact that he mentioned it in the very opening of his epistle. As bad as it seems, therefore, persecution is actually good for the Church. It can take great faith to trust that God is working things for good in such situations, but that's exactly what He's doing (see Romans 8:28).

You may not be suffering persecution, but you might be suffering in other ways. Trust God to see you through.

Prayer: Father, help me to trust You when things are dark and trouble is all around, to trust that You're still working out Your purposes somehow through it all.
 
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