2 Thessalonians 1-3
What does it mean to suffer? By Webster’s definition, it is, “To submit to or be forced to endure.” In chapter 1 verse 5 we find that Paul speaking about how the Thessalonians are suffering. They don’t appear to be suffering from hunger, thirst or illness but instead, Paul says they are suffering for The Kingdom of God. They are suffering persecution for their faith and because they have chosen to commit themselves to endure suffering they are commended for their great faith and perseverance.
Sadly until God’s Kingdom is established we, as Christians, will suffer persecution. Chapter 2 even discusses that the Kingdom will not come until after a period of suffering where a “man of lawlessness” will “display himself as being God” (vs.4). This will be a dark time for all Christians and whether or not we witness this event we must always encourage each other. If we spread love and encouragement to one another in our current sufferings it will continue to ripple through to generations in times to come.
Remember that no matter what comes, you were created and loved by the God who created the entire universe. It is He who can give you the peace, wisdom, and strength you need to endure the suffering you are faced with every day. The suffering is only temporary, the outcome is the eternal gift of God’s Kingdom where there will be no suffering ever again.