4. Stability in Trials
To secret to stability in your trials is found in knowing God’s eternal love for you expressed in the Gospel and applied to your life by the Spirit.
”13 But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. 14 To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15 So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter. 16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, 17 comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.” 2 Thessalonians 2:13-17
I. A Thanksgiving for Stability vv 12-14
II. An Exhortation for Stability v 15
III. A Prayer for Stability vv 16-17
Quick Thought: “Connecting Election and Stability in the Christian Life”.
In today’s text, Paul draws upon the doctrine of election to exhort the Thessalonian Christians to faithful stability, which in context means obedience and good works. What if someone were to ask you, but how does this work in practice? Here is a brief response you might offer:
Our lives as Christians are marked by stability and obedience more and more as we learn to trust our salvation rests upon God’s sovereign will. Our lives are marked by diligence to obey the commands of God, not from a heart of anxiousness or to earn anything, but out of a heart of love and appreciation for what God has done for us. Good works are a worshipful response to the gracious election of God.
Post-Service Online Coffee Fellowship
Please join us on a zoom call for our Virtual Coffee Fellowship (bring your own coffee!). We’d love for you to say hi, whether you’re a first-time visitor to United Community Church or a longtime member. All are welcome!
The call will be open for more or less an hour after the service finishes – you can join by clicking here! If you can’t join with the link, the Meeting ID is 998 7707 5071, and the passcode is 221309
Life Group Questions
In what ways have you found that certain doctrines have strengthened and nourished you / us (UCC) in the Christian life?
Review of the Text
- What are the things God hs already done for every believer in verses 13-14?
- What did Paul want the Thessalonians to do in verse 15 and what might this have involved?
- Describe the connection between “work” and “word in verse 17?
Apply the Text
- Have you seen people who were strengthened in their faith through trials, while others fell away from the Lord? What was the difference?
- Is the doctrine of election a comfort to you or a source of perplexity? Why? How could it become a source of comfort?
- Do you wrestle with discouragement in your faith? How can these verses turn that to encouragement?
- Read the “quick thought” above and discuss its application to your own life.
- To the Golden Shore: The Life of Adoniram Judson, The Christian biography, by Courtney Anderson, is one of the most moving stories you can ever read. Judson endured horrific trials in his labors to take the gospel to Burma. He lost two wives and several children. He was imprisoned for a year in a horrible death prison. He saw little response to the gospel. He said, “If I had not felt certain that every additional trial was ordered by infinite love and mercy, I could not have survived my accumulated suffering.” Judson also said, “The future is as bright as the promises of God.” Discuss how such a view of God might be applied to your life and any trials you are facing right now.