Most of us struggle with the notion that success depends on us. It does.
And it doesn’t.
Certainly God has expectations of us with regard to trusting Him and being obedient. So as 2 Thessalonians comes to a close, Paul emphasizes the importance of being obedient to God – to the extent that if one is not obedient, being stubbornly rebellious to Him, that person should be removed from the fellowship of the Church.
But there’s a difference between being stubbornly rebellious and struggling with obedience. That’s why, as Paul concludes this letter, he points to prayer and the help that comes from God. Notice how dependent Paul indicates he is on the Lord for success:
* That the faith of the Thessalonians and their ability to hold up under persecution is growing and has grown so well is due to the Lord’s help (2 Thessalonians 1:3-4).
* That God’s name might be glorified in their lives is dependent on the work of God Himself (2 Thessalonians 1:11-12).
* God will work on those who do not believe the truth and who delight in wickedness to the extent that they will not be able to change (a sobering thought!) – 2 Thessalonians 2:11.
* Encouragement and strength for every good deed and word comes from the Lord (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17).
* Success in evangelism is dependent on the Lord (2 Thessalonians 3:1-2).
* Protection from Satan is dependent on God’s work (2 Thessalonians 3:3).
* Peace comes from the Lord (2 Thessalonians 3:16).
Is there anything we must do?
Yes. Trust God and His way and be obedient to Him.
But beyond that, it’s all up to the power, presence, and love of God.