2 Thessalonians 1:4
So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations…
Tribulations and persecutions often befall God's dearest and choicest servants (2 Timothy 3:12; Acts 14:22). It is —
I. THAT WE MAY BE CONFORMED TO OUR LORD AND PLEDGE HIM IN HIS BITTER CUP (Colossians 1:24). The sufferings of Christ personal are complete and meritorious; they need not to be filled up; but the sufferings of Christ mystical (1 Corinthians 12:12) are not complete until every member of His body have their own allotted portion and share. Christians should be animated to suffer patiently by the fact that the Captain of our Salvation was made perfect through suffering (Hebrews 2:10). Those who will partake with Christ in His kingdom must share with Him in sorrows. Paul counted all things but dross that he might know the fellowship of Christ's sufferings (Philippians 3:10).
II. FOR OUR TRIAL (1 Peter 1:7). A man may be deceived at other times, and think that faith strong which a trial discovers to be weak: as Peter (Matthew 26:35). A man may doubt, and think his faith weak, which a trial discovers to be strong (Hebrews 10:32; Hebrews 11:34).
III. THAT THE EXCELLENCY OF OUR SPIRITUAL STATE MAY APPEAR. What can be more excellent than that which affords joy under the saddest temporal condition (John 16:33; 2 Corinthians 1:5). This will sweeten the bitter waters, like the wood in Marsh. A drop of this honey will make our bitterest cup agreeable.
IV. BECAUSE WE NEED THEM (1 Peter 1:6).
1. To modify our pride.
2. To keep us close to God.
3. To tame our flesh. Great prosperity perverts the best.Conclusion:
1. With what thoughts we should take up the stricter profession of Christianity, viz., with expectations of the Cross, Many think they may be good Christians, yet all their days live a life of ease. This is just as if we should enlist as a soldier and never expect battle, or as if a mariner should go to sea and always expect a calm.
2. What fools they are that take up religion expecting honour, ease, and plenty. You may do so for a time, but the trials will come. The summer friends of the gospel, or those painted butterflies that flutter about in the sunshine of prosperity, must expect that a winter will come.
(T. Manton , D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:
WEB: so that we ourselves boast about you in the assemblies of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and in the afflictions which you endure.