Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring. (2Th 1:4 NIV)
It is noteworthy that the Thessalonians remain patient, steadfast and even expand in times of severe trials and testing by persecution and tribulations. They bore the cross of Christ. They suffered with him, but they did not tire of following him faithfully. Their patience and faith was strengthened and increased by these pressures from outside. Many plants wither in scorching heat, but some have deep roots and are hardy too. The Thessalonians were planted at living waters and the more they were afflicted, the deeper they would send their roots into the life-giving waters of the Lord, tapping sustaining sustenance from his most precious blood and body. It’s a rare trust and faith this one of the patient Thessalonians. We often tire even in the best of days and deem it punishment if we are to bear the cross even for just a little while. Yet we hear that the Thessalonians were exceedingly blessed in these troubled times. Amen.
Faithful God and heavenly Father, we are but weak witnesses of your love. We deem it just if we are but short-lived in our patience and mercy towards those, who sin against us . Oh, grant us your Holy Spirit in richest measure that we remain faithful and patient even in affliction and temptation by the evil one and his kind. Let us fight bravely and finally triumph through faith in your Son Jesus Christ, our Lord and saviour. Amen. (A. Stöcker)
Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing; Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing: Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He; Lord Sabaoth, His Name, from age to age the same, And He must win the battle.
And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us, We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us: The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him; His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure, One little word shall fell him. (Martin Luther 1483-1546 tr Frederic H. Hedge, 1853.)
This is a rather free translation of Wilhelm Löhe’s devotion for Monday after the twenty sixth Sunday after the high holiday of the Holy Trinity. It is found on Pg. 398 in Lob sei Dir ewig, o Jesu! (Eternal Praise to you o Jesus!) edited by A. Schuster and published in the Freimund Verlag, Neuendettelsau 1949.