We ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 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. Finally, brothers, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you. And pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men, for not everyone has faith. 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.
2 Thessalonians 2:13-3:5
Life can be pretty discouraging at times. There is depressing news happening all over the world and the media is more than willing to bring us down by sharing every detail. Health problems, family problems, financial stress, and much more are very depressing. Christian people can feel pretty lonely and stressed trying to believe and defend all the teachings of Scripture, as God wants us to, in a world that cares little for what God says in his Word. And looming on the horizon for each one of us is the great equalizer—death, and the eternal questions that death brings.
Encouragement from family and friends is most welcome at times like this. Vacations, hobbies, and entertainment can distract us from our problems for a time. Unfortunately, those things don’t provide “eternal” encouragement. We need to look to God for that and he does not disappoint. “From the beginning God chose you to be saved.” Before you were even conceived and born God chose you to be saved from the eternity in hell and determined heaven for you instead. “He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Those God has chosen to be a part of his eternal family he also makes sure they hear and believe the good news (gospel) that Jesus Christ loves you so much that he was willing to suffer hell in your place so you wouldn’t have to. And just like Jesus rose victoriously from the grave and now lives in the glory of heaven forever, those who are connected to Jesus in faith will experience that same resurrection from the dead and will share the same awesomeness of heaven…forever.
“The Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.” God will not let anyone or anything, including the Devil, get in the way of you spending eternity with him in heaven. My friends, as you navigate through the discouraging things that happen in life, be eternally encouraged by God’s promises.
Heavenly Father, help me to treasure the physical life you have given to me as a gift. Even more so, help me to treasure the spiritual and eternal life you give to me as a gift through faith in Christ Jesus. Amen.
This devotion was selected from the Daily Devotion archive.