Spiritually Speaking: Rest Amidst the Restless

2 Thessalonians 1:6-10 (KJV)

"Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day."

This passage is for two groups of people; to one group, condemnation and judgment ensues, while for the other, absolute reassurance and relief is promised.

This generation seems to have no other ambition but to live it up, laughing at those of who take their eternal value seriously, striving to abstain and stay set apart from the confusion of the world. As Hebrews 11:25 (KJV) says, it is better "to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season."

Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre, Italy, March, 2013
If only people could grasp this concept now: Hell won't be a party.

I know it is not a very popular subject--in fact, it's one most ministers even avoid.

Still, the Scripture remains plain as day.

Hell is real, whichever way you try to ignore it or perceive it, and God's Word warns it will be a most horrendous time for those who must endure it.

Imagine all that is opposite of God: no sunshine or light, no cool, refreshing mist or rain showers, no padded grass, no laughter, no understanding, no kindness, no peace; instead, total rejection, and, the true tragedy and fear: utter loneliness.

All doom of torture and quick destruction aside, it is far more terrifying and sorrowful to imagine being eternally separated from the blessings of the presence of Jehovah--to be without Jesus would be tragic enough.

Do you feel increasingly troubled by pressure or even persecution for the standard you hold from day to day?

Rest is coming.

We can feel at rest in our souls now, as well, by constantly recalling His promise to have vengeance (Romans 12:19 KJV) and to deliver us; but more importantly, we can rest in knowing He can also be glorified in us now, in all of our weaknesses and teeth-grittingly-tough trials.

Others may choose to give up or take the easier roads in life, possibly shaking their heads and mocking us and our beliefs in the process, and it is heart-wrenching to watch. But we aren't asked to give a rebuttal; it is all a test of our faith and love for Him to simply keep pressing on.

The Coliseum, Rome, Italy, March, 2013
"Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him" (James 1:12 KJV).

Look at the world around us. Chaos. Kind of like the sea that tossed the boat the day the disciples told Jesus to go to sleep--restlessness was all around them and they felt it creeping into their souls, but regardless how ominous and consuming everything was around them, they had the very epitome of peace with them.
 
Remember, the very reason something is challenging and maybe even painful is because the result is worth it.
 
Don't give up now. You can have peace when everyone else is fresh out.

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