Thessalonians 1:2-5: “We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers, 3 remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father, 4 knowing, beloved brethren, your election by God. 5 For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance, as you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake.”
Paul was remembering with great fondness the joy he experienced when he was with the church in Thessalonica. In fact, the memory is so sweet that he mentions that he does not stop praying for them. The memory of that church for Paul was the way these Christians behaved during the face of intense persecution. He mentions a few things that stood out to him about these Christ-followers. Paul mentions the work of faith that they displayed. For these Christians their Faith was evident through the midst of their trials.
For us today, our walk with Jesus should be evident by the faith we have during the trials and storms of our life. Christ-followers will go through many of the same trials that the rest of the world does. However, we are to act differently then the world does. We have an active faith that is to be present during the storms of life
Paul also mentions the “labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father”. Paul witnessed these qualities while he was ministering to that church. Love and hope in the Lord’s return are characteristics that should describe you and me. I question my own walk, out of all the qualities that could be seen in my ministry, do people see my love and my hope in the Lord’s return.
If we display these qualities in our own walk during the persecution, trials and storms of our lives, we can be an inspiration to other believers, and God can use us to strengthen others. How we handle the storms of life can also give us strength in the future. I can draw upon past victories, where God walked with me or very often where He had carried me and I can be strengthen with the fact that I know my redeemer lives.
Old Testament: Isaiah 53-55 New Testament I Thess. 2