In this chapter, Paul describes the nature of the partnership that we should each have with God and how it can be established. The nature of this partnership really embodies the many different aspects of man’s relationship with God: how he is, at the same, a father, a friend, a lover, a king, a judge and a trusted partner. This passage also touches on the ideas of glory, righteousness, justice and faith.
6 God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you 7 and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels.
He is our protector. When we ally with Him, we can count on Him like a father figure. From verses 6 and 7, we can see that God will fight FOR us. He cares about what we are troubled by and bring upon justice. Not only does He punish them, but he also brings us comfort. This moment of judgement is presented in an image of glory and majesty.
12 We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
God wants to share his glory with us. Verse 12 clearly demonstrates the reciprocity within the partnership. Man was made to give praise and to give glory to God and, as emphasised throughout the Bible, we are to glorify Him with our lives and our actions. But God doesn’t want to keep the glory to himself – in fact, when we give glory to Him, we receive glory and are honoured in Him.
So how do we partner with Him?
11 With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith.
If we want to partner with the Lord, we have to earn it. Yes, God calls us out of the darkness and yes we are loved unconditionally by Him – we don’t need to earn His love. But partnering with God is something we need to become worthy for. If we want to enjoy God’s glory and honour, we have to be worthy to behold it. That being said, everyone has the chance to earn this calling because we have been saved.
It all starts within our hearts and minds. We must firmly live in faithfulness so that our minds can be fixated on biblical goodness and righteousness. However, this is made possible only by God’s power; we are unable to persevere and attain this righteousness without help from the Spirit or Christ. His perfect righteousness, therefore, is also given to us when we partner with Him. This is what Paul prays over the people of the church.