Three ways to stand firm as we wait for Jesus' return
From Letters of Paul: 30-Day Bible Study
2 Thessalonians is Paul’s second letter to the church in Thessalonica. After commending the church, Paul goes on to appeal to them to “stand firm” as they await the second coming of Jesus (2 Thessalonians 2:15).
No one knew how long Jesus would be gone, so not surprisingly, after a little while they started to wonder: Is He coming back? Paul’s answer to them and us is yes.
Jesus suffered tremendously so that we could have a relationship with God. Psalm 22:14 is a picture of Jesus’ anguish on the cross:
“I am poured out like water,
and all my bones are out of joint;
my heart is like wax;
it is melted within my breast.”
When we suffer for something or someone, we remember it. Jesus went through so much to save us that we can trust He’s coming back and anticipate His return. As we wait for Jesus’ second coming, Paul highlights some practical ways to stand firm in our faith.
1. Remain in the presence of God.
The punishment for people who do not profess faith in Jesus is living “away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His might” (2 Thessalonians 1:9). Every time, we talk to God and listen for His voice, we draw from His strength, and it helps us stand firm.
2. Get to work.
Paul tells the church to “keep away from anyone who is walking in idleness” (2 Thessalonians 3:6). Waiting for Jesus to come back doesn’t mean we kick back and leave the hard work — earning a living, raising our families, ministering to people’s needs, and much more — to others. We wait well by actively participating in the world around us, making it a better place as we do what God has called us to.
3. Do good.
Paul implores his brothers and sisters in Christ not to “grow weary in doing good” (2 Thessalonians 3:13). Our relationships with Jesus are one thing we take with us into eternity. So as we care for the people around us, and show them Jesus’ love, we bring a little bit of heaven to Earth.
It can be challenging to live up to our calling as Christians if we don’t fully believe in or anticipate Jesus’ second coming. But when we do, our whole lives will reflect more of who He is and how He loves.
- Are you excited about spending eternity with Jesus? What’s one way your life reflects the reality that Jesus is coming back?
- What are some practical ways you can seek the Lord and enjoy His presence this week?