To this end, we always pray for you. (2 Thessalonians 1:11, ESV)
The apostle Paul is telling the Thessalonians about their glorious future in Christ and then he prays for them. What does he ask of God in light of their glorious future? What should we pray for? This will surprise and challenge you!
Persevere. “That God may count you worthy of his calling” (1:11). As you complete the race that God has given you to run, God will count you worthy of his calling. So, in the light of your glorious future in Christ, persevere!
Plan. “That by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours” (1:11). This is an astonishing statement. You might expect Paul to say: “By his power he will fulfill every good purpose of his,” but he says “every good purpose of yours.” Do you see the force of this?
Paul says, “Look at the glorious future that lies ahead of you! It’s not enough to drift through your life saying, “I’m open to whatever the Lord wants me to do.” The Christian life is not passive. God invites us to take the initiative, formulate plans, and then act in faith.
Act. “Every act prompted by your faith” (1:11). Spurgeon ends his sermon on this verse by saying, “Now, get at it all of you! You that are doing nothing for Jesus, be ashamed of yourselves and ask him to work in you so that you may begin to work for him.”
Where do you need to persevere? What good purpose will you pursue this week? Or do you need to ask him to work in you so that you may begin to work for him?