“And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,” – 2 Thessalonians 1:7
The verses that surround this passage tell a story of faithful Christians who, though they endured great trials and persecutions, served both God and each other with love, kindness, patience, endurance, and great faith. Paul proceeds to encourage them in their tribulation with the promise that they will one day rest in the safety of the Lord’s shadow while judgment and tribulation is turned upon all that opposed either God or His people at Christ’s returning.
Paul makes it abundantly clear in this chapter of Thessalonians that God will always avenge the mistreatment of His children. It may not come immediately, giving opportunity for repentance, but if not repented of, it will surely come. It is never our place to seek vengeance but God’s alone.
“Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” – Romans 12:19
As children of God we are called to preach, teach, heal, love, pray, exhort, encourage, and uplift. Never to slander, gossip, attack, be jealous, or hold bitterness. It you do the first when men come against you, you will not only preserve your own soul but possibly help to save that of your persecutors as well, bringing greater glory to God and reward in heaven. However if you do the latter, it will serve only to damn both your persecutor’s soul as no one intercedes for them and they grow ever more bitter in retaliation to you, and your own soul as well as you can not be forgiven if you do not forgive others and you cannot enter the kingdom of God with bitterness, envy, jealousy, or strife in your heart.
“But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.” – James 3:14-18
“Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” – Romans 12:20-21
“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;” – Matthew 5:44