2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 Are You Worthy of Your Calling?

Thanks for visiting Bible Mountain. This lesson is part of a series of lessons on the book of 2 Thessalonians. In this lesson I’m going to look at chapter one, verses 11 and 12, and talk about being content with, and worthy of, our calling.

Watch the video to learn more or scroll down to read the transcript.


Thanks for visiting Bible Mountain. This lesson is part of a series of lessons on the book of 2 Thessalonians. In this lesson I’m going to look at chapter one, verses 11 and 12, and talk about being content with, and worthy of, our calling. 

Verse 11 starts out with this.

2Th. 1:11 To this end also we pray for you always, that our God will count you worthy of your calling, 

Paul was referring to a calling that the Thessalonians had. This concept of a calling, or being called, is something we see throughout the Bible. I’m going to start by looking at a couple references in the Old Testament to God calling people for certain reasons and purposes. Then I’m going to look at the New Testament to see what it has to say in general terms about our calling as Christians. Then I’ll come back to 2 Thessalonians and see what Paul was specifically talking about regarding the Thessalonians. Finally, I’ll talk about what this means for us, particularly in regards to being content with, and worthy of, our calling.

Let’s start in Isaiah chapter 13. We’ll start reading at verse one. 

Is. 13:1 The oracle concerning Babylon which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw.

Is. 13:2 Lift up a standard on the bare hill, 

Raise your voice to them, 

Wave the hand that they may enter the doors of the nobles.

Is. 13:3 I have commanded My consecrated ones, 

I have even called My mighty warriors, 

My proudly exulting ones, 

To execute My anger.

Here, we see the concept of God calling his mighty warriors to execute his anger. There were certain warriors who had a calling. They were called to act on God’s behalf. 

We also see this in Jeremiah. Let’s read from Jeremiah chapter one, starting at verse 13. 

Jer. 1:13   The word of the LORD came to me a second time saying, “What do you see?” And I said, “I see a boiling pot, facing away from the north.” 14 Then the LORD said to me, “Out of the north the evil will break forth on all the inhabitants of the land. 15 “For, behold, I am calling all the families of the kingdoms of the north,” declares the LORD; “and they will come and they will set each one his throne at the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem, and against all its walls round about and against all the cities of Judah. 16 “I will pronounce My judgments on them concerning all their wickedness, whereby they have forsaken Me and have offered sacrifices to other gods, and worshiped the works of their own hands. 

God called the kingdoms of the north to execute His judgment and His punishment upon the cities of Judah. 

In the New Testament we see that Jesus called His disciples. Let’s start reading Matthew chapter four at verse 18. 

Matt. 4:18   Now as Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon who was called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. 19 And He *said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” 20 Immediately they left their nets and followed Him. 21 Going on from there He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and He called them. 22 Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him.

Jesus called a handful of men to follow Him and be His disciples. 

Now let’s look at some verses throughout the New Testament that talk about our calling as Christians. Let’s start in Romans chapter 1, verse 7. This was Paul writing to the church at Rome.

Rom. 1:7   to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as saints: 

Paul wrote that the Christians in Rome were called to be saints. Let’s go to Romans chapter 8, verse 28.

Rom. 8:28   And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 

Here, we see that Christians are called according to God’s purpose. We are called to serve God. It’s not for our own reason or through our own initiative that we are called, Instead, we are called according to God’s purpose. 

Let’s go to 1 Corinthians chapter one. I’ll start reading at verse 26. 

1Cor. 1:26   For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; 27 but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, 28 and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, 29 so that no man may boast before God. 

Paul pointed out to the Corinthians that the believers in Corinth were not the people who were considered wise by the world’s standards. They were the people who were considered foolish and weak by the standards of the world. That’s often who God calls. 

Let’s go to Philippians chapter 3, verse 13. Paul wrote. 

Phil. 3:13 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 

Eventually, Jesus is going to call us upward.

Let’s read 2 Timothy 1, verse 8. 

2Tim. 1:8   Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me His prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God, 9 who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity, 

Our calling is a holy calling. Let’s go to Hebrews chapter 3, verse 1.

Heb. 3:1   Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession; 

Our calling as Christians is a heavenly calling. 

In these verses we see that, as believers, we are called as saints. Our calling is according to God’s purpose. As Christians, we are not the ones who are considered wise by the world. Our calling is a heavenly calling. It is a call upward to spend eternity in Heaven with Jesus. 

Now let’s go back to 2 Thessalonians. Paul wrote to the church in Thessalonica about their calling. 

In chapter one Paul started out saying he was thankful for the Thessalonians. He spoke proudly of them because they had perseverance and faith in the midst of their persecutions and afflictions. Paul reassured the Thessalonians that someday Jesus will come back and give relief to the afflicted and deal out retribution to those who were afflicting the afflicted. Paul stated that people who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of Jesus will suffer eternal destruction. Then Paul wrote the following, starting in verse 11. 

2Th. 1:11 To this end also we pray for you always, that our God will count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul wrote, “to this end”. That refers back to what Paul wrote about in the previous verse, this idea that Jesus is going to come back to be glorified in His saints and to be marveled at. When Paul wrote “to this end”, he meant that in order to lead to that end result, Paul was praying for the Thessalonians. He was praying that God would count them worthy of their calling. 

What was their calling? The calling of the Thessalonians was everything we saw throughout the New Testament that applies to all Christians. We are called to be saints. It is a heavenly calling. We are called according to God’s purpose. 

However, in addition to that, if we go back to verse 4, we see the Thessalonians were suffering persecution and affliction. Part of their calling was to suffer for the kingdom of God. Paul’s prayer was that God would count them worthy of suffering for the kingdom of God. 

In verse 12, we see the point of all of this. The reason for the suffering and being counted worthy of their calling is so that the name of Jesus will be glorified. 

Let me point out something Paul did not say. Paul did not say he was praying that the Thessalonians would be worthy. Instead, he prayed that God would count them worthy. That’s interesting because, even as Christians, we will never be worthy of anything. The only reason we have any hope is that, because of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, we will be counted by God as worthy of heaven. 

Having said that, as Christians, we should strive to be worthy. In the case of the Thessalonians, when they were striving to be worthy, they were called to suffer persecution. The way to strive to be worthy of that calling is to continue to have perseverance and faith in the midst of suffering. That meant, to a certain extent, they had to have a positive attitude while undergoing persecution and affliction. They had to be content with their calling. The church in Thessalonica had to be content with the fact that God called them to suffer when maybe other Christians in other places were not called to suffer. 

As we look around 21st century Christianity, some Christians are called to live a life of affluence while others are called to live a life of poverty. Others are somewhere in between. Some Christians are called to live a life of great health. Other Christians are called to live a life of sickness and suffering. Many Christians live between those extremes. Some Christians have great careers. Some Christians do not. Some Christians are intelligent. Some Christians are not. Some Christians have a lot of freedom. Some Christians do not. 

One of the things we need to do, in order to pursue being worthy of our calling, is simply to be content with our calling. We need to be content with whatever role in life God has given us. We need to live the life God gave us, be content with it, and make the most of it.

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“All Scripture quotations taken from the New American Standard Bible®,
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