We remember before our God… your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thessalonians 1:3c
Sometimes life takes a turn for the worse after trusting in Jesus. This happened to new believers in Thessalonica who came under persecution from their own countrymen. It’s likely they were ostracized by family members and lost their source of income from being shut out of business by guilds that served pagan deities. Their hope wasn’t in things getting better but in knowing how it would all end. They believed Jesus would bring a better life in the next life.
Paul praises these new believers for their endurance and hope. The Thessalonians put their hope in the promise of eternal life, not their circumstances— and we can do the same thing. The last two years have brought many hardships, but we have the same hope in Jesus. Our difficulties and pain may not go away, but Jesus’s promise to take it all away in the next life is a given (Revelation 21). Watch this video clip as Pastor Jeff Manion explains what enduring hope looks like.
Paul is grateful for the testimony of the Thessalonian Christians and prays for them. We can also be grateful for those Christians in our lives who demonstrate great faith and hope while suffering. Praise God for them, learn from them and pray for them.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
As you fill in your gratitude handout, write the name of someone whose hope and endurance inspires your faith. Drop them a note of gratitude and encouragement. If you are struggling due to a loss of any kind (death, divorce or other)—find hope to navigate this holiday season at Blue Christmas December 14. Register today at adabible.org/bluechristmas.
NEW TESTAMENT READING PLAN
Join us this year as we read through the New Testament.
Today’s reading is 1 Peter 2.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.