Unending Comfort: 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

I was working on an article about Grace and came across this passage in Paul's second letter to the believers at Thessalonica.  It is about halfway through the letter. Here is my literal translation of the passage

2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

So may Our Master Jesus the Messiah, Himself, and our God and Father, Who loved us and gave an everlasting comfort and a good hope with grace, comfort your hearts and strengthen you in every word and good work.

We all go through tough times. It was also true with the first generations of church members  when Roman tyrants ruled with an iron hand. It wasn't the government that threatened the believers in those days, but rather those teachers who didn't understand how God was working things out. Otherwise, things were going well. The letters to the Thessalonians were friendly reminders that God had not judged the church in secret. Bad times were yet to come (though Paul didn't know when). Before going on with these exhortations, the Apostle prays for them to remember that God was there for them.

I see at least three things that we can gain from this prayer:

First, His Presence is Personal.

 It was rare to emphasize the personal pronoun; but "Himself" is in the text! Jesus - Master, Savior and Messiah - was not on the edge of the universe preparing to come back the next day in judgment. The Trinity was very real and very present. As promised, the Holy Spirit was there, and with Him was the eternal Father and Son. Nothing was going to catch God by surprise. Today, nearly 2000 years later, the time of the end seems so much closer, but our Master is right by our side even in these days.

Second, His Love is Unchanging.

 How can we doubt His love for us? We have the same good news that Paul preached on his missionary journeys. In context, Paul had just reminded them that they were like the early harvest -- used to praise God for His coming provision. Just as God had chosen them for His glory, we can trust Him to bring us closer to Him each and every day. He shows that love by graciously hearing and answering our prayers -- giving us unending comfort and great expectations for the future.

Finally, His Support is Sure.
We are bombarded daily with the bad news of the world. We want things back to what was "normal", and even like the "good old days". But hard times will always come. Many of those listening may "have it easy" compared to many Christians in the world. But in their hard times, they know what the presence of God is like. It has not changed since the creation of the world. God keeps his promises. We can depend on Him.

It is my hope that God's Word has encouraged you today.

Thank you for listening. We welcome your remarks, so please feel free to share them below. We would be honored for you to become a part of this ministry.

Until next time, May our Lord Jesus Christ make His love and comfort known to you all.

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