2 Thessalonians 1:5 & 11
…to find you thoroughly worthy of the kingdom of God…
To that end we always pray for you, that our God may deem you worthy of his call….
In one commentary, I found that the word translated here as “worthy” means the true balance that comes from congruence.
As in, our lives being congruent with God’s intentions.
That is what we are to become.
Just because we are chosen by God for the Kingdom, doesn’t mean we are ready for the Kingdom. As the old saying my wife Ana reminded me of goes: “God doesn’t call the qualified, but qualifies the called.”
This is weird for us because what we’re used to—the kingdom of this world—is that you’re typically chosen because you’re ready. You need to possess the necessary skills before you are chosen to be on the basketball team. To make first chair in the symphony, you must’ve already perfected your instrumental skill.
But in the Kingdom of God, it seems we’re chosen, given a prestigious place of privilege, and then shaped, pruned, purged, perfected…shown what we’re made of.
We have to go through many trials in order to get into the shape needed for the next phase, task, calling, responsibility. You might think of it as going through doorways that get progressively more narrow. In order to fit through the next doorway, you’ll need to shed some baggage you’re carrying, or maybe even bodyweight.
Perhaps you need to learn how to love a difficult-to-even-like person before moving on. Maybe you must learn patience, either with other drivers, an annoying co-worker, people of a different political persuasion than you, and on and on we could give examples.
No one is so just that he does not need to be tried by affliction to advance or to establish or prove his virtue. ~Augustine
Everything difficult in life, big or small, can serve to mold us into Kingdom shape…if we allow it, if we learn from it, if we trust God through the midst of it.
And in some places in the world, like in Thessalonica in the first century, people endure extreme difficulties of persecutions for their faith. It is in the perseverance of trusting God through it, in the midst of it, that they—we–are perfected.
I don’t claim for one second to understand how all this works, but it gives us something to chew on today….
I understand some of the analogies are not perfect, but hopefully the points are clear or at least thought-provoking.