Therefore we ourselves boast about you in the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith in all your persecutions and in the afflictions that you are enduring. 2 Thessalonians 1:4
Notice the present tense: “the afflictions that you are enduring.” When Paul planted the church in Thessalonica (see Acts 17), the new believers there immediately experienced opposition. A few weeks later Paul wrote 1 Thessalonians, and a short time after that he wrote a second letter to encourage these believers to stay the course.
Most of us can put up with trouble for a while, but when the problems keep coming, it begins to wear you down. This has been the normal experience of believers throughout history. Maybe this has been your experience. The trial you’re in isn’t showing any signs of letting up, and you’re beginning to wonder How long can I keep this up?
Maybe you’re fighting to hold your marriage together, or you’re dealing with a rebellious son or daughter. You’ve been doing this for some time, and it’s not easy to keep going. Or maybe you think you’re making progress when that old sin rears its ugly head. The battle goes on, and you’re tired of it. Maybe you work in an environment where everything is affirmed except faith in Christ and the pursuit of a godly life, and it’s wearing you down.
The apostle Paul was writing to weary believers like us, and he said, “Do not grow weary in doing good” (2 Thes. 3:13). It might sound like he is telling us to “gut it out,” but he’s not. He is telling us to vigorously pursue the grace of God, so that we will be able to stay the course, even when we are tired of the battle.
What is the battle in your life, right now, that is wearing you down?