2 Thess: 1:4 Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring. 5 All this is evidence that God’s judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering. 6 God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you.
This verse was written by Paul, Silas, and Timothy to believers from Thessalonica (1Thess 1:1) who were living a life worthy of the kingdom of God, persevering and keeping faith in all persecutions and trials, and suffering for the kingdom of God (2Thess 1:4-5). If you find yourself in the same situation as these Thessalonians, the Word gives encouragement.
God is on your side as you endure persecutions and trials for His kingdom. When people mock you because you share the gospel or His Word, when you pay the right taxes, when you say no to buying counterfeit goods, when you are kind and friendly to people of “lowly” (to the world, but in no way lowly to God) stature, when you attend Bible studies… these can be annoying to some people, a cause for tongues to wag. Perhaps you have chosen to stand in prayer for a persecutor and it makes you look like an unfashionable “martyr”.
2Thess 1:6 comes with a promise that resonates with Rom 12: 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”[a] says the Lord.
Not to rejoice in God’s hand on one’s “enemy”
Prov 24: 17 Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when they stumble, do not let your heart rejoice, 18 or the Lord will see and disapprove and turn his wrath away from them.
but God removes from you the burden of thinking about the other person. God is the One in charge. He gives you reason to not be perturbed. He will be the One to restrain the other person.
The word “enemy” is in quotation marks because the enemy is only Satan, not persons. (This is the first in a series of posts on Spiritual Warfare: http://butterflyinthespring.com/2013/03/19/know-your-enemy/)
Rom 12:20 On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”[b]
This combination of verses are a reminder that when you are being persecuted for following the Lord, your accountability is only your own response. When you face God, you will answer only for your own walk with Him. Your persecutors are His problem. He will be the one to take care of them, pay them back trouble or however He will take care of them as He is just (as 2Thess 1:6 says). So you do not need to waste positive time, energy, and thoughts on how to get back at your persecutor. Instead, pray for them, ask God to give you His Spirit to help them when they are in need. Instead, you continue your own walk worthy of the kingdom of God, persevere, keep the faith.