Today’s reading on Thanksgiving is 2 Thessalonians 1-3 which is the entire, short book.
Paul is writing this letter to the church he founded in Thessalonica which is now part of northern Greece. In this letter Paul addresses how we must be ready for trouble and adversity from the Evil One before the Second Coming, as well as warning against idleness. Since today is Thanksgiving, we will mostly focus on verses 2 Thessalonians 1:3-4 where he gives thanks for them.
3 We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers,[a] as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing. 4 Therefore we ourselves boast about you in the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith in all your persecutions and in the afflictions that you are enduring.
Who do you think of when you read this? Today’s young people…we will say 15-25 year old’s get a bad reputation for being on their phones all the time, having everything given to them, and for being lazy. I have to laugh though because the same people that criticize youth for having everything given to them or always getting a trophy are the same ones that gave these things to them! A little ironic…don’t you think?
Although most would say our society is moving away from Christian and Biblical values as a whole, I have recently taken notice of a growing number in the 15-25 year old age group who are very convicted in their faith and living in a way that aligns with the Bible’s instruction. They read their Bible, attend church regularly, typically are involved in a Bible study or small group, listen to Christian music, and are also committed to keeping sex sacred to the marriage relationship. While I don’t have any specific numbers to back how many or the growth so to speak, it seems to me it is occurring. I don’t know whether a poll would say the number in this age group who believe are growing, but is my personal observation that the ones who are believers are actually living out their faith through their actions more so than previous generations who would have said they were believers, too. I’m not trying to start a debate or call one generation better than another, but rather pointing this out so we take notice. Not only should we give them credit and give thanks for them, but we can learn from them and their example even (1 Timothy 4:12).
Why is this occurring in this age group despite society trying to tell this age group they don’t need God or biblical values and are free to live however they feel? I believe it is for a couple reasons. First, I believe God has planted it in our hearts and minds to know what’s truly right and wrong. Secondly, I believe there is so much confusion about what is the truth, young people (and all of us for that matter) are attracted to the one place we can go for all truth which is the Bible.
When you woke up this Thanksgiving and thought about what you were grateful for today, I doubt this group of young people was on your list. However, will you join me today in thanking God for them and also praying that will continue to stay convicted in their faith despite the adversity and ridicule they are likely to face now and throughout their lifetime? This generation will shape our future.