Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer:
2 Thessalonians 2:5
Paul says “which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God…” but what is the token he’s speaking of? It is their persecution and tribulation (that he mentioned in v4). The hardships that the brethren were suffering (and enduring) were a reminder that they were with God and that God would avenge them.
Consider how many give up the faith when they are persecuted: They give up because they feel that God is not with them and that is why they are suffering. They give up on God because they think God has given up on them. On the contrary, our suffering is evidence that God is with us, and we are with God. If we weren’t in a relationship with God then the world would not hate us and would not persecute us in the first place.
Our suffering is a token (literally “an indication”) that we are with God and that God will one day bring judgment against those who have hurt us. Just because God’s vengeance is still to come doesn’t mean it won’t eventually come. It will, as Paul is soon to explain.
Our suffering allows us to experience a small taste of what our Master endured at the end of His life. Thus we should count ourselves blessed to suffer as He did. And certainly, since the servant is not greater than his master, we should count ourselves worthy to suffer too. If we do, and if we endure, God will count us worthy of the kingdom of God, for which we suffer.