“Therefore we also pray always for you … that the name of the Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Thessalonians 1:12
This verse sums up Paul’s greeting to the church at Thessalonica, a church that abounded in the grace of God in such a way that he used them as an example of God’s grace to other churches (v 2).
He commented that the evidence of God’s grace among them was cause for continual heartfelt thanksgiving and praise to God (v 3). The good thing for us is that he mentions what the two most important evidences of God’s grace in that church were.
Firstly, he writes that thankfulness to God is appropriate because their faith grows exceedingly. They were rapidly and correctly growing in faith.
Secondly, he writes that the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other. Paul was also thankful that their love for each other was not just tolerance or out of duty but a genuine care and concern for each other’s physical and spiritual welfare.
We may dismiss this by responding that they had a favourable environment but such is not the case. They were enduring persecutions and tribulations and they did it patiently because of their faith in God’s promises (v 4) concerning Christ’s coming again.
What was it that made them patient and faithful? It was because they believed that Jesus would ensure that righteous judgment would come to all at His coming. Notice the contrast between believers and unbelievers in verses 6 & 7 and 9 & 10.
God is gracious and this attribute, like all His attributes, are in full effectual working all the time, 24/7. We often only comment that God has been gracious to us when things, in our estimation, go favourably for us. However, God’s grace abounds to us 24/7. Sometimes it doesn’t seem that God’s grace abounds. When this happens it is our perception that is wrong. It is not a lack of God’ effectual grace that is wrong.
In correction, chastisement or instruction God’s grace abounds to us just as much as in meeting our physical and spiritual needs. It is a 24/7 grace.
Do we really believe “that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose”? If we do, we will be thankful for God’s 24/7 grace. It reveals itself in that your faith grows and we will have an abounding love toward each other.