We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth; 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: Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer: 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

2 Thessalonians 1:3-8a KJV

Based on these verses the life of the believer is to be seen in:

  1. A growing faith
  2. Charity or love toward one another
  3. Patience and faith in the midst of persecution and Tribulation 
  4. A faith that endures
  5. A willingness to suffer for the kingdom of God
  6. Jesus tells us in the messages to the seven churches; we are to be overcomers. 
  7. We are to be made worthy to enter God’s kingdom.  — to overcome Satan with the word of our testimony and the blood of the Lamb through Tribulation. 

But why is there persecution and tribulation according to these verses, and why would anyone want persecution and tribulation?  The answer is in what Paul says here, that it is in the suffering that comes from these that we will be made worthy of the Kingdom of God.  

I read an article recently from a pre-Trib site, as I often do. It is from these sites that I get my best inspiration. — There I did it. I actually said something positive about them.  I do actually love these guys. Some of my best friends are pre-Trib, and I was once one of them.  But in this post there was a statement which in effect said: “show me one place in scripture where we are told that the Tribulation is to make us worthy.” I knew exactly where that statement was because it was one of the verses that haunted me when I was asking the Lord to help me figure all this out. 

Of course, were he (the writer of that challenge), or they, who are my friends, to read this I’m sure that their comeback would be that this has nothing to do with  “The Tribulation”, because these early Christians were not in “The Tribulation”.  I know this, because I tried that answer on for size myself.  But the come back to me was and to them would be: “yes, but they thought they were in the Tribulation.”  

Yet, when we examine this scripture it is obviously speaking of these Thessalonians who are in persecution and tribulation at that time, but it is also a prophetic statement as to a future situation leading up to the second coming and to our rest.  The message Paul gives both to the Thessalonians and to us, who will rest with them, is that this rest from tribulation itself will come or is designated to occur at the Lord’s coming with His mighty angels in flaming fire.   I think that the implication here is clear that this rest is from all our tribulation including “The Tribulation” which precedes His Coming, according to Matt. 24, and Mark 13.  

And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.

Revelation 19:13-15

This coming with His mighty armies to inflict vengeance is according to Paul the time of our rest, and this rest cannot be from a marriage feast in heaven during this tribulation, this must be from Tribulation itself, which is the subject of this passage. 

So from all this what is the walk of the believer to look like?  Do we not all want to be counted worthy of the kingdom?  This is what Paul says Tribulation is for. Based upon what Paul said here should true believers, followers of Jesus not expect to experience resistance and persecution and tribulation from Satan; not from one another but from the world in order to be made worthy?  And what does that say for us if we have not suffered such in this world?

The church today is not taught to expect trouble.  Anything but, so we have the prosperity gospel. We have the lack of witness, because there is the lack of a testimony emanating from the church pews.  We actually have developed this escape from trouble, persecution and Tribulation mentality. 

In fact the article telling me that there is no place in scripture telling us that Tribulation makes us worthy, concludes that we are to be expecting Jesus return in the Rapture not this Tribulation of which Jesus spoke when He told us that it must come. In fact He told us that many tribulations would come and finally this Great Tribulation. It will definitely come.  So if persecution does not come to us because of who we are in Christ, and if Tribulations at the hand of Satan are not part of our lives as Jesus and Paul both tell us, will we be worthy of God’s kingdom?  What is the Holy Spirit’s Teaching through Paul here really say to us when we consider these things? He is our teacher. 

There is a specific time for the outpouring of the wrath of God, it is not the seven year Tribulation. If you want a biblical explanation of God’s wrath:

Read the post:  

Is The Great Tribulation Really God’s Wrath — is it really the wrath that we will not see? (Aug 11, 2017)

Sorry that this was so long. Have a blessed Jesus filled day even in your Tribulations.