3.26.17 “Thriving Through Adversity” 2 Thessalonians 1:6-12

Elements of a Mature Church

I. Have the Right Attitude  v.6-8

-What’s our normal attitude toward those who are persecuting us – Bad/anger

– God repays with affliction those who are afflicting you – Law of sowing and reaping – Leave room for Him to get their attention

– Don’t take revenge or believe you need to make things right:

  •    * The idea of unfair sometimes drives our behavior instead of the Holy Spirit
  •    * Remember that even though we are receiving their actions they are really directed against the Lord – And He can handle it!

– God will relieve your suffering – Look for what God might be doing both in your life and through it – Don’t seek deliverance from the storm, the storm that has come might be there to deliver you

II. Realize Who You are Dealing With  v.9-10

– We need to realize, those who afflict the body of Christ don’t know Christ

– Now, those persecuting you will pay the penalty of eternal destruction

  •    * Away from His presence
  •    * Away from the glory of His power

– Be careful that you don’t take pride in this – Our heart should break for them – Remember Jesus died for them – Our goal should be to reach them

– Remember; who you are, and He is coming to be glorified in you – It’s easy to forget when we are facing opposition – To overcome forgetfulness keep your relationship fresh – It’s meant to be enjoyed not dreaded

– The result of Him being glorified in us is others Christians will marvel

– That’s what we are supposed to do for each other – cause one another to marvel about God 

III. Don’t Lose Sight of Your Calling  v.11-12

– Persecution can wear you down and affect your walk. That’s why Paul is praying:

  •    * God will count you worthy of your calling – Listening and Obedience
  •    * He will fulfill every desire for goodness – Delight in Him
  •    * He will fulfill the work of faith with power – Express Himself through your obedience

– Why, So the name of Jesus will be glorified in you and you in Him by His grace and Christ

– Don’t let persecution cause you to lose sight of the ministry God’s called you to

– Pray for one another!

 CONCLUSION:

– If we are going to thrive through adversity:

  • * We cannot allow the actions of others to affect our attitude or actions – The key to controlling this is keeping a healthy relationship with the Lord – David/JoAsh
  • * We must be careful how we see people – We cannot expect lost people to act like Christians. We must also realize they are not the deceiver they are the deceived
  • * We must remember why we’re here – We’re called to a ministry of reconciliation

 – If we’re going to engage in reconciliation the real enemy is going to fight

– Adversity doesn’t have to destroy you – It’s meant to sharpen you and reveal your targets

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