“Now regarding the arrival of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to be with him, we ask you, brothers and sisters, not to be easily shaken from your composure or disturbed by any kind of spirit or message or letter allegedly from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord is already here” (2 Thessalonians 2:1-2 NET).
One of the motivating factors behind Paul the Apostle’s second letter to the Thessalonian church involved the need to correct those who had misapplied some of his earlier teachings. Paul addressed one such misconception in the passage quoted above: “Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ… we ask you… not to become easily unsettled or alarmed.”
In light of this, it appears that some among the Thessalonians were anxious and uneasy concerning the subject of Jesus’ return. It also appears that this sense of apprehension had its origin in several different sources that were less than trustworthy.
It might be said that the Thessalonians had fallen into this state of anxiety because they shifted their focus from Someone (Jesus Himself) to something (the timing of His return in this instance). Much as the Apostle Peter famously began to sink beneath the waves of the sea when he took his focus off Jesus, these verses remind us that it is easy to fall into a state of anxiety if we fail to focus upon Christ. Therefore, it should come as no surprise to read Peter’s counsel from the Biblical book of 1 Peter: “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7 NIV).
Here are a few other Scriptures to commit to memory when facing a potentially anxiety-producing circumstance…
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28 NIV).
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27 NIV).
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33 NIV).