My Lord, no matter what lies ahead, I rest in the love of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Read 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10
 Paul, Silas and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace and peace to you.  We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers.  We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.  For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you,  because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake.  You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.  And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia.  The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia-your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it,  for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God,  and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead-Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectHow does Paul commend the Thessalonians and their faith?
The Thessalonians who had believed Paul’s message about Jesus had been thrown in at the deep end (Acts 17:1-13). These new Christians faced character assassination, public humiliation and arrest. In fact, the trouble was so intense that Paul and Silas had to leave Thessalonica. Paul takes comfort from the fact that God’s work through his Word is unstoppable (4,5,7,8). When church leaders die or leave, or when churches go through tough times, God does not give up. God’s church is his concern (1). He is the one who takes the initiative (4); it is his Holy Spirit who convicts (5); and it is the Lord Jesus who rescues and reconciles people to God (10). Paul also takes pains to remind these persecuted Christians that they are part of a bigger family (7,8) and that their faith in Jesus in the midst of suffering is an encouragement to other believers (9). Persecuted Christians today can feel isolated in hostile environments. A letter from a believer on the other side of the world can bring them huge encouragement.
Think of a Christian who is struggling. Pray for them. Write, email or phone to let them know that God cares.
Lord Jesus, I’m thankful for the example of faithful believers. May I be an encouragement to them, too.
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