Summary: This takes a look at the opening verses of II Thessalonians as Paul brings a word of encouragement to this church.
A Word of Encouragement
II Thes. 1:1-12
I. The Encouragement of Praise (v. 1-4)
A. Paul Practiced What He Preached (1-3a)
1. He could have blasted them for not grasping what he had taught them earlier, but he never scolded or chastised them (compare to his reaction the Galatian church Gal. 3:1).
2. He practiced what he had previously preached in I Thes. 5:18a. In the midst of their confusion and turmoil he had to find some things to be thankful for.
B. Encouragement or Flattery? (v. 3b)
1. We should encourage, but not try to use flattery. Flattery usually lends itself to lying about someone or their situation in the name of encouraging .
2. Eph. 4:15 commands us to “..speak the truth in love…”. It does not mean to say things to hurt, but to be truthful in our encouragement. (use examples of false flattery).
C.Paul Encouraged Them in a Number of Ways (v. 3c-4)
1.Their faith was growing
2.Their love was abounding
3. Their patience was increasing
4. Their testimony was helping others.
II. The Encouragement of Promise (v. 5-10)
A. There is Promise in the Midst of Suffering (v. 5a)
1. Satan tries to deceive us into thinking that god does not care for us, but the opposite is true; suffering part of God’s plan for us (Phil 1:29)
2. Our response in the midst of suffering is a testimony to others that god is working in our lives.
B. There is the Promise of Our Citizenship & God’s Justice (v. 5b-9)
1. We are citizens of the kingdom, not by suffering, but by the grace of God which also sustains us through suffering.
2. In the midst of tribulation and injustice toward the things of God we need to remember that god is righteous and just.
C. There is the Promise of the Future Return of Christ (v. 10)
1. This will be our time of rest (v. 7)
2. It will be a time of judgment and mercy
III. The Encouragement of Prayer (v. 11-12)
A. Paul Prayed for Their Worthiness (v. 11a)
1. Trials do not make the person...but they reveal what person is made of!
B. Paul Prayed for Their Walk (v. 11b)
1. Paul prayed that they might do what God intended for them to do when He saved them. We are not saved just to keep us from going to hell; God has a purpose for our lives.
2. We cannot fulfill His good pleasure unless we are yielded to Him in our walk.
C. Paul Prayed for Their Daily Witness. (v. 12)