“…which is manifest evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you also suffer…“
that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God,
Paul’s team judged the Thessalonians worthy of the kingdom of God in the light of their faithfulness to God in their suffering. In comparison to other churches, the team regarded them as worthy of the kingdom.
Endurance of trial does not make the believer worthy of heaven, but it does demonstrate the worthiness of one who will rule with Christ in His kingdom (Revelation 3:21; 2:26). God makes us worthy of His kingdom by His grace. God’s kingdom is His sovereign rule over all creation.
“If we endure,
We shall also reign with Him.
If we deny Him,
He also will deny us” (2 Timothy 2:12).
for which you also suffer
The word “for” means on behalf of. The Thessalonians suffered on behalf of God’s kingdom.
“So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name” (Acts 5:41).
“For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, having the same conflict which you saw in me and now hear is in me” (Philippians 1:29-30).
Children of the King should live worthy of His kingdom.
God reveals that we are worthy of His kingdom by allowing us to suffer. God is righteous in sovereignly arranging affliction for our lives.
Those who react to suffering negatively do not meet God’s test. God’s test in suffering is to demonstrate His grace for any disaster that may come our way. There will be no opportunity for this in eternity. Time is the only occasion where we can show God’s grace in suffering.
Those who suffer in a godly manner demonstrate confidence in God’s sustaining grace for that suffering. Adversity can turn into blessing. No athlete develops muscles without putting his or her body through some suffering!
Adversity makes prosperity more wonderful. Christians who suffer in a godly manner demonstrate God’s provisions for inner strength.
The Christian who suffers like a yo-yo, always up and down, does not have the stability from understanding God’s providence for his life.
You may suffer today, and no one seems to care. It seems that everyone has enough trouble of his own without having any concern for you. However, God cares for you. He providentially cares for you.
“…casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).
Christians should care for you as well if they were spiritually minded.
“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2).