Week 2 Day 5: 2 Thessalonians 1:5-12
All this is evidence that God's judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering. God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you. With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith. We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. (NIV)
How much time do we spend fighting a battle that God has already won? Someone has done us wrong, so we want to confront or maybe even retaliate. We watch the news and seethe with anger toward the injustice in our world. I’m not saying that we need to shut down our emotions and sing, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” I’m also not saying that we should sit with folded hands and submit ourselves to a fatalistic course. The simple truth is that this is not our battle to fight.
God will right the wrongs. God will defend us. God will save us. God will pay back trouble. These are God’s jobs. Our prayer should be to let Him do His job without trying to assist Him. Or as Bono sings “Stop helping God across the road like a little old lady” (from Stand Up Comedy on No Line on the Horizon by U2).
When we surrender this part of our earthly struggle to God, we free ourselves to pursue “every good purpose” and “every act prompted by your faith.” If we’re fighting the battle, we become so distracted and so tied up in knots that God’s purpose and faithful acts become the farthest thing from our minds.
What is consuming your thoughts today? Right now, stop and give that person and situation to God. Bless your enemies. Pray that they get promoted out of your department or move to a better neighborhood. Pray for God’s peace in your heart. Surrender your desire to control and retaliate. Then, as you experience God’s peace, watch for God’s next assignment for your life.
Copyright © 2009 by Allen White
Scripture quotations taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.