Does GOD count us WORTHY of His CALLING? “Therefore we also 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 you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Thess. 1:11-12)
Apostle Paul had a unique calling by God for the ministry. While he was on his way to Damascus to capture and bind followers of Jesus Christ and then bring them to Jerusalem for trial and punishment, Paul was confronted with a bright light from heaven that threw him to the ground. It was there that Paul heard the voice of Jesus calling him to the ministry (Acts 9:1-6), which was later revealed as towards the "Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel" (Acts 9:15). From that moment, Paul endeavored to walk and live worthy of his high call in Christ Jesus!
Now as Apostle Paul was writing his second letter to the Thessalonian believers, he prays sincerely that God would count these believers worthy of their calling by God. This is the first of five prayers of Paul for the Thessalonian believers in this short letter (1:11; 2:16–17; 3:5, 16, 18). In fact, one of the constant prayers of Paul and his companions was that the Thessalonians would continue to experience purification in the midst of their various trials, and that God would take note of this and approve their worth. They also prayed that God’s purposes would be fulfilled in the lives of the Thessalonian believers. The reason for this is because God is the One who had called them to His own kingdom and glory (2:14; 1 Thess. 2:12).
When Paul wrote to the believers in Thessalonica, they were in the midst of intense suffering for the sake of the gospel (vv. 4–5). However, they were to endure their trials through faith and hope. They were to be faithful in interceding for other believers and in confronting those who are out of order by exhorting them to repent. They were also to look beyond their immediate troubles to the return of Christ and the affirmation they would receive from Him at that time when He returns (vv. 6–7). God would judge all their enemies in due time (vv. 8–9). Jesus Christ would be ultimately glorified in His saints and admired among all believers one day! (v. 10)
Thereafter, Paul prayed the words of encouragement he desired to impart to the believers in Thessalonica. Only God could accomplish His will in the lives of these believers, so Paul prayed that God would first count them worthy, and then fulfill His good pleasure in their lives. Their lives would be counted worthy of such a high calling, and God’s mighty power would enable them to obey every impulse to do good to others, and to accomplish every task that they undertake in faith. The resultant answer to this prayer according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ would be two-fold: first, God would be glorified through the exemplary lives of the believers. This means that they would give an accurate representation of Jesus to the world, and thus bring glory to Him. Second, the believers would be glorified in God. Their association with Jesus, their Head, would bring honor to them as members of His Body. All this would be accomplished only by the wonderful grace of God!
Thus, Jesus Christ should be glorified not only among but also in us as we reflect His glory by living in a manner worthy of His call in our lives. Let us always remember that God's calling in our lives is holy (2 Tim. 1:9), heavenly (Heb. 3:1), according to His purpose (Rom. 8:28), irrevocable (Rom. 11:29), and "into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord" (1 Cor. 1:9). God calls us as His people to finish our lives well by holding on to the truths that last through maintaining lifelong faithfulness (2:15).