Reading: 2 Thessalonians 2: 1-5 and 13-17
Paul is writing into a situation where there is some sense of urgency or anxiety. He encourages this church to “not become easily unsettled or alarmed” by the false prophets. Paul must be writing about this because it has begun to happen. The church looks at the world around them and wonders if the end is at hand. We can relate well to this at times in our modern world. At times we too look at the world and wonder.
On a smaller scale I think we do this at times, in our own lives. Traumatic and sudden events can cause us to question and think the end is near. The loss of a child, the sudden death of a spouse in middle age, the unexpected pink slip at work – all can put us into a mode of anxiety or fear or doubt. All of these things can shake us too and can almost paralyze us.
The words Paul speaks to the church speak to us as well: “from the beginning God chose you to be saved”. In essence, Paul is saying, trust in God and the plan God has for you. Trust that God alone is fully in control, that no matter what happens here, we are in God’s hands. Paul goes on to encourage them to “stand firm and hold onto the teachings”. Remember what is in God’s Word. Stand on your faith, hold fast to the promises – “I will never leave you or forsake you”.
When fear or anxiety rise up, Paul says to run to God. When the world seems to be falling apart, run to God. When we feel like we cannot make it on our own, run to God. Why? As Paul wrote, “May our Lord Jesus Christ, who by His grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your heart and strengthen you for every good deed and word”. Run to God, the promises are true.