Believing the Truth
As for us, we can’t help but thank God for you, dear brothers and sisters loved by the Lord. We are always thankful that God chose you to be among the first to experience salvation—a salvation that came through the Spirit who makes you holy and through your belief in the truth. He called you to salvation when we told you the Good News; now you can share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14 NLT
Paul and the rest of the missionaries that were with him felt a strong compulsion to be in prayer for the believers in Thessalonica. Their prayer is for these believers to remain strong in their faith and be courageous telling others about Christ. As Christ’s return is approaching, there will be tremendous persecution and there will be a temptation to forsake one’s belief. Paul’s encouragement to them included reminding them of God’s love. Also, their position in the Lord was of God’s choosing for them “to be among the first to experience salvation.” This salvation is enriched “through the Spirit who makes you holy and through your belief in the truth.” This means that salvation is not dependent upon our abilities to acquire it but through the conviction of the Holy Spirit and our belief in the truth. We become the person God wants us to be through the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit working within. Our faith is energized as we grow in our understanding of the truth. All the more we trust God and obey His will for our lives that we attain maturity in our faith. When we yield to the Holy Spirit and our faith is strengthened, we become motivated to serve Him and to live our lives for His glory. Not only we give God the glory because we are living godly lives, we also “share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” This is in contrast to those who will be on their “way to destruction, because they refuse to love and accept the truth that would save them” (2 Thessalonians 2:10b). When the call to come to Christ is given through the preaching of the gospel, we are prompted to respond. What are you going to do about His call? Are you going to respond by placing your trust in Him alone for your salvation? There is glory that awaits those who believe the truth and obeys God’s word. “For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever” (2 Corinthians 4:17-18).