FAITH, LOVE AND HOPE
Paul, Silas and Timothy wrote a letter to the new Christians in Thessalonica. These new believers gave up their sins and idolatrous life-style and turned to the Lord Jesus Christ when the Gospel of God's kingdom was preached to them in the power of the Holy Spirit (1Thess.1:5,6,9).
Paul, on his own behalf and on behalf of his missionary companions Silas and Timothy, thanks God for the living testimony of the new believers in Thessalonica. We read in verses 2 and 3, as well as in the rest of the epistle, how Paul and his missionary companions recall the Thessalonian Christians' active faith, love and hope that they witnessed. The Thessalonian believers demonstrated their new life in Christ by their:
* good behaviour (good works) produced by faith. They proved that they were "God's workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works" (Eph.2:10)
* labour (hard work) prompted or motivated by love;
* endurance under affliction, inspired by hope - hope in the Lord Jesus Christ and His glorious return to rescue them from God's wrath that is to come upon the unbelievers (1:6;3:8).
The Thessalonian Christians set an example of godly conduct to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia as well as in the surrounding regions. The Holy Spirit also enabled them to endure hardship and exhibit Christ-like behaviour. By their active faith the Thessalonian believers glorified God in their lives.
Realising that the earth is going to be burned up (2Pet.3:11,12), we should put our confidence in what is lasting and eternal and not be bound to earth and its treasures or pursuits. We should spend more of our time striving to build Christ-like character rather than piling up earthly possessions.
Are we Indian Christians setting an example to the others by our Christ-like conduct? Are we glorifying the Lord in our generation? Let us read the complete letter Paul and his missionary companions wrote to the Thessalonian Christians and examine ourselves whether we too are growing in the faith.
Jesus is coming again - this time as King of kings and Lord of lords - to deliver us from God's just wrath that is sure to fall upon all unbelievers. Will He find our lives characterised by God's enduring gifts of faith, love and hope?