This is so important to how we navigate trials in life, especially those extended trials. Did you notice that the Apostle Paul makes a distinction that his words are God’s Words?
The Thessalonians heard the word of God, “which you heard from us” and received those words as “God’s Word.” Yes, Paul’s mouth is moving, yes Paul is the one doing the talking / writing, but the words of Paul, are the words of God. This is huge!
Listen to me, everyone can’t make this claim. There are crazy people out there who will say things to you like, “God told me you need to do this or that. The Lord told me you need to do this or that.” We should always stay away from people who go around saying those types of things, but Paul’s not like those people.
Paul is an Apostle. An Apostle is someone who has seen the resurrected Jesus with their own eyes, and an Apostle is someone who has been sent out by the resurrected Jesus.
I might be a pastor at North Village Church, but my words are not God’s Words. You are not reading online to read my words. All I am doing is pointing us to God’s Word, and the authority of God’s Word is going to transform how we walk through trials and challenges in life, especially extended trials and challenges.
Consider these passages:
- Psalm 119:36, “Incline my heart to your testimonies.”
- Psalm 119:18, “Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.”
- Ephesians 6:17–18, “Take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit.”
- 2 Thessalonians 3:1, “Pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored.”
- Acts 6:4, “devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”
- Colossians 3:2, “Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.”
- 2 Corinthians 10:5, “We are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.”
God’s Word shapes how we walk through trials and challenges, especially extended trials and challenges. In fact, I would argue in my experience that God’s Word becomes sweeter as we walk through extended trails and challenges, because God’s Word is what is eternal, ever lasting, and never changing.
I know for me personally, as we walk through this global pandemic it is God’s Word that is providing comfort and strength. When we cared for my mom in our home with schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s it was God’s Word that provided clarity and peace. As we walked through the loss of my father, miscarriage, job loss, there is only one constant source of strength, and it is God’s Word.
Please don’t underestimate how easy it is to lose sight of the importance of God’s Word. There are churches in our city right now that will say, “Don’t take God’s Word too serious.”
They will specifically say, “Verses like 2 Timothy 3:16, ‘All Scripture is God-Breathed’” which speaks to the authority of God’s Word shouldn’t apply to all of God’s Word.
Instead they will say, “The Jesus I know wouldn’t say that or do that” and our understanding of Jesus should shape how we understand God’s Word. What?
This is the exact opposite of what Paul is teaching in verse 13. Paul’s affirmation to the Thessalonians is that they weren’t filtering God’s Word through their understanding, but instead they were bringing themselves under the authority of God’s Word, and it was producing an endurance to preserve through the hardships of life, therefore might we be a people who love God’s Word and love bringing ourselves under the authority of God’s Word.