1 Thessalonians 1:1-10
Paul and Silvanus and Timothy,
To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace.
We give thanks to God always for all of you, making mention of you in our prayers; 3 constantly bearing in mind your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the presence of our God and Father, 4 knowing, brethren beloved by God, His choice of you; 5 for our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. 6 You also became imitators of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit, 7 so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. 8 For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith toward God has gone forth, so that we have no need to say anything. 9 For they themselves report about us what kind of a reception we had with you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God,10 and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that isJesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come.
The Thessalonians church is one of Paul’s first churches. Most believe it was indeed his first church plant. His first letter to them is exhorting them because they were so steadfast in the faith the even surrounding towns have heard of them and their great faith, even in the middle of great tribulation.
“you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. 8 For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith toward God has gone forth”
Like the Thessalonians church we too will face trials of many kinds. However, these trials work out the perfecting of our faith. With the perfecting of our own faith we will be a witness to others and they will be drawn to the strength we get through the Lord. Additionally, we will be able to use our struggles to help others through their own struggles.
But if we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; or if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which is effective in the patient enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer; 7 and our hope for you is firmly grounded, knowing that as you are sharers of our sufferings, so also you are sharers of our comfort. (2 Corinthians 1:6-7)
[Featured image from http://biblescreen.com]