“I hope I never have to go through that because I don’t know what I’d do.” This phrase is often heard when someone is remarking on another’s poor circumstances. I’m inclined to say it’s well meaning but not entirely appropriate for Christians. This is because we are not judged by what we go through. We are judged by who we are when we go through bad circumstances.

We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers and sisters, as is only fitting, because your faith is increasing abundantly, and the love of each and every one of you toward one another grows ever greater. As a result, we ourselves speak proudly of you among the churches of God for your perseverance and faith in the midst of all your persecutions and afflictions which you endure. This is a plain indication of God’s righteous judgment so that you will be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you indeed are suffering.
2 Thessalonians 1:3-5

The church of the New Testament suffered under many trials, both in the form of actual legal prosecutions and in the figurative sense, and it was no small thing for them. What was significant was their attitude. The Apostles did their best to instruct the believers on what that should be by example; Paul plainly states that he was thankful to God because of the perseverance of the believers in Thessaloniki because it served to demonstrate the righteousness before God. Righteous here meaning “not guilty” where God had deemed their offenses forgiven and granted them worthiness.

We should have the same level of confidence; no matter what we go through, God has deemed us worthy and righteous by His power. Who can deny that? Surely not one of His own.

Ethan Kirl

Originally Published May 21, 2021