Paul gave the invite “to rest with us” to those who were in trouble. They had “suffered with us” and been “persecuted with us” so he invited them to “rest with us.”
II Thessalonians 1:4 So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure: 5 Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer: 6 Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; 7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; 10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.
Over the years I’ve heard many of the same questions over and over. Will it ever be better? Will it ever end? We tend to ask it more with all the changes we see in society. It seems there is one worry, one battle, one conflict after another. Will it ever end? A lot of songs, particularly older ones, deal with this. Amazing Grace was written in 1779 and the author said “through many dangers, toils and snares I have already come.” God’s grace has gotten us safe this far. Paul said to those who are troubled “rest with us.”
Many have found rest in their trials; that means we can too. If one can, all can. It’s up to us. The churches in Asia Minor were undergoing so many trouble, trials, tribulations and persecutions. He told the Thessalonians yet they endured. They were strong examples to others. To endure means to put up with. It’s hard to do without feeling down and out. We endure by faith and patience. We’re saved by faith. God saved us from all our sin. David said the Lord also saves us from trouble. Trouble comes and goes; at times it seems to work itself out. Not so with sin. We can trust God with all our distress, battles and troubles through faith and with that patience. That’s waiting on the Lord.
Troubles come whether you’re strong or weak, in summer and winter. It’s a great teacher. I read a story once about a man who said his best teacher, of all he’d ever had, was trouble. No matter what we say, when we’re tested by troubles we find out what it’s really like. God never puts temptation on us greater than we can bear. He provides a way out, a way to escape it. When you feel there is no way out, you’re right. The only way is to trust God. We need faith NOW so when the trouble comes we’ll know that we can trust the Lord. Wait on him. All the downs and outs temper us. They shave and file us to the place we are counted worthy of the eternal kingdom of God. What would heaven be like if we had it all down here? We’d probably end up complaining all the time even there. There is some trimming to be done. We can’t take our envy and selfishness to heaven with us. He shaves it off through trials to make us that new creature. We continually shake off the old man to become the new one day by day. God prepares our soul and then he has to prepare our attitudes.
Verse 7 says And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels. It’s coming because Jesus is coming. Satan will be put in the lake of fire. All those who choose to go their own way will go there with him. For those who are saved we don’t have to wait until then to rest. In the midst of the foot of the devil and the wicked on top of our head, the Bible says “rest with us.” We don’t have to be devil free or trouble free to rest. It takes a true Christian to praise God and rest when times are at their worst.
The best is yet to come. God will forever rest the faithful one of these days. He will permanently remove all the bad and there will be a forever rest in that day. In the midst of our briar field is a treasure of rest. One day it will be clear of briars forever. God’s people of all ages will be with the Lord forever. It won’t be that we make; it will be that Jesus will bring us through it.
Is it worth it–all we go through? Is it worth enduring? Tomorrow, next week, next month, when you’re at a low time, there is a resting place. Trust God now so you will find it then.