We pray - that our God would count you worthy - It is our earnest prayer that God would make you worthy, αξιωσῃ, afford those continual supplies of grace by his Holy Spirit, without which you cannot adorn your holy vocation; you are called into the Christian Church, and, to be proper members of this Church, you must be members of the mystical body of Christ; and this implies that you should be holy, as he who has called you is holy.
Fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness -
5. And if you be faithful to his grace, he will fulfill - completely accomplish, all the good pleasure of his goodness in you; which goodness is to be apprehended and is to work by faith, the power of which must come from him, though the act or exercise of that power must be of yourselves; but the very power to believe affords excitement to the exercise of faith.
Wherefore also we pray always for you - See the notes, 1 Thessalonians 1:2.
That our God would count you worthy of this calling. - Margin, “or, vouchsafe.” The meaning is, “that he would regard you as worthy of this calling;” see the notes on ver. 5. Of this calling; see the notes, Ephesians 4:1. The “calling” here, is that which had brought them into the kingdom, and led them to become Christians.
And fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness. - That is, make the work of salvation complete and effectual. Oldshausen has well expressed the sense: “May God fill you with all that good which is pleasing to him.” The thoughts in the passage are:
(1)that the purpose toward them on the part of God was one of “goodness” or benevolence;
(2)that there was a state of mind which would be regarded by him as pleasing, or as his “good pleasure;” and,
(3)that Paul wished that this might be accomplished in them. He desired that there might be in them everything which would be pleasing to God, and which his benevolence was fitted to secure.
And the work of faith - The work which faith is adapted to produce on the soul; see 1 John 5:4-5.
With power - Effectually, completely. The apostle prays that so much power may be exerted as will be sufficient to secure the object. The work of religion on the soul is always represented in the Bible as one of power.
The deepest students of science are constrained to recognize in nature the working of infinite power. But to man's unaided reason, nature's teaching cannot but be contradictory and disappointing. Only in the light of revelation can it be read aright. “Through faith we understand.” Hebrews 11:3. Ed 134.1
“In the beginning God.” Genesis 1:1. Here alone can the mind in its eager questioning, fleeing as the dove to the ark, find rest. Above, beneath, beyond, abides Infinite Love, working out all things to accomplish “the good pleasure of His goodness.” 2 Thessalonians 1:11. Ed 134.2
“The invisible things of Him since the creation of the world are ... perceived through the things that are made, even His everlasting power and divinity.” Romans 1:20, R.V. But their testimony can be understood only through the aid of the divine Teacher. “What man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.” 1 Corinthians 2:11. Ed 134.3
“When He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth.” John 16:13. Only by the aid of that Spirit who in the beginning “was brooding upon the face of the waters;” of that Word by whom “all things were made;” of that “true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world,” can the testimony of science be rightly interpreted. Only by their guidance can its deepest truths be discerned. Ed 134.4
Only under the direction of the Omniscient One shall we, in the study of His works, be enabled to think His thoughts after Him. Ed 134.5Read in context »
The Lord has men of His appointment whom He will use in His work so long as they allow themselves to be used in accordance with His good pleasure. He can never use any one who is seeking to humble someone else. Humble yourselves, brethren. When you do this, it is possible for holy angels to communicate with you, and place you on vantage ground. Then your experience, instead of being faulty, will be filled with happiness. Seek to relate yourselves in harmony with God's leadings, and then you will be susceptible to the movings of His Holy Spirit. TDG 35.6Read in context »
The petition, “Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven,” is a prayer that the reign of evil on this earth may be ended, that sin may be forever destroyed, and the kingdom of righteousness be established. Then in earth as in heaven will be fulfilled “all the good pleasure of His goodness.” 2 Thessalonians 1:11. MB 110.1
The first half of the prayer Jesus has taught us is in regard to the name and kingdom and will of God—that His name may be honored, His kingdom established, His will performed. When you have thus made God's service your first interest, you may ask with confidence that your own needs may be supplied. If you have renounced self and given yourself to Christ you are a member of the family of God, and everything in the Father's house is for you. All the treasures of God are opened to you, both the world that now is and that which is to come. The ministry of angels, the gift of His Spirit, the labors of His servants—all are for you. The world, with everything in it, is yours so far as it can do you good. Even the enmity of the wicked will prove a blessing by disciplining you for heaven. If “ye are Christ's,” “all things are yours.” 1 Corinthians 3:23, 21. MB 110.2Read in context »
The instruction that Paul sent the Thessalonians in his first epistle regarding the second coming of Christ, was in perfect harmony with his former teaching. Yet his words were misapprehended by some of the Thessalonian brethren. They understood him to express the hope that he himself would live to witness the Saviour's advent. This belief served to increase their enthusiasm and excitement. Those who had previously neglected their responsibilities and duties, now became more persistent in urging their erroneous views. AA 264.1
In his second letter Paul sought to correct their misunderstanding of his teaching and to set before them his true position. He again expressed his confidence in their integrity, and his gratitude that their faith was strong, and that their love abounded for one another and for the cause of their Master. He told them that he presented them to other churches as an example of the patient, persevering faith that bravely withstands persecution and tribulation, and he carried their minds forward to the time of the second coming of Christ, when the people of God shall rest from all their cares and perplexities. AA 264.2
“We ourselves,” he wrote, “glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure: ... 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.... Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness, and the work of faith with power: that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” AA 264.3Read in context »