A Word of Hope for a People Under Pressure
We are about to start our journey through the 1st letter to the Thessalonian church. This is a note from Paul to this newly founded group of Jesus followers. I'm not going to give away the points of the letter just yet, but this really struck me.
Acts 17:11 - "The people here [Berea] were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica,..."
What an amazing testimony for the church in Berea as well as a harsh critique about the people of Thessalonica. The Thessalonians were lacking in character. What we know is that Paul and his other travelers had to leave the city of Thessalonica because a mob had risen up against them. Yet, in his letter to the Thessalonian church, Paul says this.
"We always thank God for all of you, making mention of you constantly in our prayers. We recall, in the presence of our God and Father; your work produced by faith, your labor motivated by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Thess. 1:2-3
What an amazing set of statements. The people of Thessalonica were low in character, but yet here we have a group of Jesus followers that Paul can't stop praising because of their faith and work in the community.
We are going to begin our dive into the Letter to the Thessalonian church over the next few weeks. Hopefully, we will find encouragement from the words of Scripture as it shows us the testimony of a people, under great persecution, who stood strong in their faith. May we be a people who look to them for encouragement as we face our own trials and temptations in this life. This is going to be a great study.