This is 1 of 3 sermons I preached on 2 Thessalonians.
Or you can download: HopeForAKingdom 2015-06-28
Here are my super-rough notes.
v.3 We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers,1 as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing.
Look at what is being measured here and what they are being commended for: their faith flourishing and their love for one another is ever greater.
They must have had a really great life, right?
v.4 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 ESV)
That is what Paul is boasting in when he goes to other churches. Not miracles, not doctrine, now their accomplishments in the city, but their flourishing faith and their growing love for each other. Wow.
And so Paul boasts about their faith in perseverance and the afflictions they are enduring.
Have you ever talked to somebody and known exactly what kind of parents they had? We knew this family that worked for Wicliffe Bible Translators, and their daughter was just a little girl and she had the vocabulary of a novelist.
I have a friend who’s 5th grader is the best soccer player on the middle school team. He’s a 5th grader. Well, his dad played soccer for at least 20 years, and many of those years were with Arabs and Brazilians.
If you already know these kids’ parents, you know something about the kids that comes as no surprise. And if you meet the kids first, and see how incredible they are, you are not surprised to find out about who their parents are.
2 Thes 1.4-5
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. This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering.
What if we suffered, struggled, and lived our lives with the knowledge that God is going to come and make everything right?
v.6-7 since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you,  and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels
Are we OK with that? The world wants us to do things directly against this: to find relief on our own, NOW, without waiting, and to afflict our enemies, NOW, without waiting.
Does it help you to wait if you know what God is going to do?
v. and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels  in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.  They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might,
(2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 ESV)
What if the number one goal of submission and obedience to the Lord revolves around patience? Or what if it is expressed in patience? What if it is by patient endurance that people come to see who Our Father is?
I have a friend who’s son asked him “Why do we have to worship God now even though we will worship Him for all of eternity? Isn’t eternity enough?”
He asked his son this question “If I asked you to do something and a stranger asked you to do the same thing during the same time so that you had to pick and only help one of us, which one would you help?
I’d help you, Dad!
Because I love you and I don’t even know that other person.
Then that is exactly why we worship God now instead of anything else, because we are always worshipping and serving something.
One more thing I want to say then I’ll wrap it all together:
v.11 To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of His calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power,
(2 Thessalonians 1:11 ESV)
God is the one making you worthy, not you! You don’t have to do a bunch of stuff, you just have to be the news.
So what if it’s true?