1 Thessalonians 1:1-10
1Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy,
To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
Grace to you and peace.
2We always give thanks to God for all of you and mention you in our prayers, constantly 3remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. 4For we know, brothers and sisters beloved by God, that he has chosen you, 5because our message of the gospel came to you not in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of persons we proved to be among you for your sake. 6And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for in spite of persecution you received the word with joy inspired by the Holy Spirit, 7so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. 8For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but in every place your faith in God has become known, so that we have no need to speak about it. 9For the people of those regions report about us what kind of welcome we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols, to serve a living and true God, 10and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead — Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath that is coming.
When I read today’s reading from 1 Thessalonians, the word “encouragement” immediately comes to my mind. Written by Paul, the first verse opens with the offering of grace and peace. It then goes on to remind us how much our love and hope in the Lord brings faith and endurance—that we are chosen and loved.
The people of Thessalonica lived during a hard time, yet they believed and shared the Lord’s message. They served our God and no other. Their faith became known everywhere. I’m sure it wasn’t easy to hold onto that faith, no questions asked, no matter how hard life was. But they did.
We are encouraged to live like the Thessalonians did—with faith, love, and hope. No matter what trials we face, we are offered God’s grace and the peace that comes along with it.
I recently came across a quote by Dolly Parton that I love. She said, “The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.” We trust that God is with us through the rain—and, in the end, will provide the rainbow.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for the grace and love you have for us. Help us to be encouraged by Paul’s words and hold fast in our faith. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Written by Alicia Huntley
Director of Small Group Ministries