Scripture:

Vs 3  … your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing.
Vs 4 Therefore we ourselves boast about you in the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith in all your persecutions and in the afflictions that you are enduring.
Vs 5 This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering—
Vs 6 since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you,
Vs 7 and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels
Observation:

Paul expresses gratitude and approval of the faith and love of the Thessalonian church.
He lets them know he is telling other churches about them, especially because they are doing it under great persecution.
Paul explains that their afflictions are actually showing them worthy of the Kingdom of God.
They do not have to concern themselves with those who are tormenting them.
God, as a good and righteous Judge, will handle all … the persecutor and the persecuted.
Repayment and relief will come with the coming of Jesus.
Application:

How did it ever become common thinking in the modern church that when everything is going “great”, then God must be in it or even pleased?
The early church would be shocked by such thinking.
The first believers, particularly the ones Paul writes about here, are going through tremendous turmoil not of their own making.
It would be so easy to blame God for causing it or get mad at God for seemingly ignoring it.
But Paul says their endurance of persecution is actually “evidence” of God’s “righteous judgment”.
This is a mindset my modern thinking hardly has a category for.
If I have a faith that is “growing abundantly” and a “love for everyone” that is “increasing”, how could a “good God” allow bad things to happen to me?
This is the question so many nonbelievers have, but there is a major flaw.
If I think this way, I am just showing a biased way of thinking because I live in such a prosperous time and age.
It’s an external, circumstantial focus.
I think the greater lesson here is to not be concerned at all about the external circumstances of life.
God, in his righteous judgement will deal with that.
What I should be focused on is the internal circumstances of an increasing faith and an abundantly growing love for one another.
If fascinating that modern believers have also become characterized as being “judgmental”.
This, it seems, is the opposite of an “increasing faith”.
If I become judgmental, then I am not putting faith in God as Judge.
What’s more is, if am judgmental, I will certainly not increase in love.
I imagine this is why Paul hammers home a couple of back to back thoughts:
He boasts of their growing faith and love.
And in God as the righteous Judge.
There is a direct correlation here. I cannot be faithful and loving if I am condemning.
Prayer:

Thank you, God, that You are Judge.
Help me to have faith in You and love for others.
Help me be more concerned about the internal than the external.
Holy Spirit, help me know you are with me through any and all affliction
In Jesus Name
Amen
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