Paul’s second letter to the Thessalonians shows he has great confidence in them, in their faith and love. This causes him “to give thanks to God … because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing” (1:3).

He commends their “steadfastness and faith in all your persecutions” (verse 4). We are aware that there are true believers in some countries of whom this can be said today – and this has been true of every generation. As Jesus said to Smyrna, “I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich) … Be faithful unto death, and I will give you a crown of life” (Revelation 2:9,10). Let us all be “rich in faith”.

Ukraine is much in the news these days – and there are true believers there today and we pray specially for them and for those in Iran – and we know that Stalin wiped out our community of believers in Ukraine in the 1930s.

We ponder the reference in chapter 2 to a particular “man of lawlessness” and that there will be a “rebellion”. We see just about everyone rebelling against a proper belief in God. The “day of the Lord” then occurs. The leader of this rebellion is “against every so-called god or object of worship” (verse 4).

Many people find themselves worshipping money – and Jesus said, no one “can serve two Masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money” (Luke 16:13). Nearly everyone is devoted to the things money can buy today.

Finally, note Paul’s warning that “those who are perishing” will do so because “they refused to love the truth and so be saved” (verse 10). James wrote (2:5), “has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which he has promised to those who love him”. Let us ensure we are rich in the things of which our Master approves, making sure we truly “love him” and that our “faith is growing abundantly”.