We all have a desire for justice. When we see wrong-doing, we want it to be punished, and we want justice to be served. Often, the justice we love the most is personal justice, or fairness in protecting our own "rights". If we are not careful, though, that personal justice can lead to slavery.
Pastor Josh challenged us to live in the way that the Thessalonian church lived and was conducting themselves. In Chapter 1:4 of Paul's letter, he says, "Therefore we 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". He makes this statement because to "endure" means "to allow, to permit, or to tolerate". The Thessalonians are NOT fighting back and looking for personal justice. (See 1 Corinthians 4:11-12).
In verses 5-10, Paul describes God's future justice. He is reminding them of the good news that punishment for evil is just, and there will be a day where everything is set right. God will ultimately bring about the restoration of all things. Having that perspective should change how we live right now!
The Workplace - When you don't get the promotion you deserve because the person that did get the promotion lied about you - go and congratulate them.
At Home - When your spouse demands more of you than they should - do more than your share.
At School - When a teacher tells other students that she doesn't like you - be the most respectful and kind student you can be.
At Church - When other ministries are more celebrated than your are of passion - celebrate what God is doing.
Finally, in verses 11-12, Paul ends with a prayer that encourages the church to fix their eyes on the end of the story. None of us can live that way without the power of God.
Questions to Consider:
1. Where in your life are you looking for personal justice?
2. Parents, how will you willingly embrace unfairness in Charlotte with your kids? How can you model the gospel to them in light of unfairness?
3. Where do you use your power or authority somewhere to get what you deserve? How can you leverage your power or authority to help those in need receive the personal justice THEY deserve?
4. Pray 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 each day this week, and ask the Holy Spirit to give you the endurance to persevere and the resolve to do good for others.