11 ¶ Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power:
12 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.
Paul’s declaration that he prays always for the Thessalonians is in keeping with his sentiments elsewhere. Examples include;
Romans 1:9 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers;
Ephesians 1:16 Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;
Among those we should be praying regularly for are those people who we have prayed for salvation with and those believers whom we help disciple in Bible study. In fact, along with our church, our pastor, our family, our nation, and the world around us we should be praying for those over whom we have had some influence for the gospel.
The Thessalonians, like Paul himself, had been called to persecution and tribulation (see verses 4-10 and comments).
1Thessalonians 3:3 That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto.
One of the undercurrents of the letters to the Thessalonians and, indeed, of all of Paul’s letters is that Christians will suffer for Christ. In this letter to the Thessalonians it is said to be part of God’s judgment on those doing the persecuting as their actions will justify their punishment. Paul is praying that the Thessalonians will be counted worthy by God for this calling.
It was that goodness of God that led us to repent of our natural state of being a sinner and of our sins.
Romans 2:4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?
God’s goodness toward us does not always make us feel good. Christians experience some things for their own spiritual growth such as persecution or a physical ailment that forces you to reflect on your relationship with God or brings you to your knees or your face in prayer, even the death of a loved one.
Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
God’s goodness leads us to minister to others who are suffering what we have suffered.
2Corinthians 1:3 ¶ Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; 4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.
It is only our own selfishness and carnal focus on this life coupled with our ungrateful heart that prevents us from seeing what God is doing in our lives and with our lives when it is not pleasant.
God is the author of our faith. True faith is not generated from within us. As Ephesians 2:8,9 shows that it came from God. Jesus told the Jews what the work of God was.
John 6:28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?
29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
This work of faith with power allows the Christian to overcome the world.
1John 5:4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. 5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?
There are some powerful promises made with that idea of overcoming by holding on to your faith until the end.
Revelation 2:7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
Revelation 2:11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.
Revelation 2:17 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.
Revelation 2:26 And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:
Revelation 3:5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.
Revelation 3:12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.
Revelation 3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
Revelation 21:7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
The work of faith with power will keep the Christian proclaiming who Christ is no matter what he or she endures as a result. It keeps a Sudanese Christian from renouncing Christ in the face of his Muslim torturers as it kept a Thessalonian Christian from renouncing Christ in the face of his or her suffering. It can keep an American Bible believer standing firm in the face of the false and political Christianity that surrounds him. No matter how infuriated you are at the behavior of the enemies of Christ or how enraged you are at the public behavior and proclamations of the so-called Christian in America this work of faith with power keeps you from turning your back on the one who bought you with His own blood.
The purpose of this is so that the name of Christ is glorified in us and we in Him. This is all made possible by God’s grace toward us.