Monday 19th October 2020 – 2 Thessalonians – Encouragement
2 Thessalonians 1: 1 – 4
Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. We must always give thanks to God for you, brothers and sisters, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing. Therefore we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith during all your persecutions and the afflictions that you are enduring.
Maya Angelou, a black American poet and civil rights activist, wrote: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Other encouraging words are: “Be kind, be loving, keep smiling.” There are times when we don’t feel like, but doing it anyway definitely helps. When we have doubts about our ability, it’s amazing when someone says, “Of course you can do it.”
Knowing that his words would fill the Thessalonian believers with the humble desire to do better, Paul praised them for their growing faith despite tremendous persecution. He gave thanks for their increasing faith and love in difficult circumstances. The Thessalonians have set an example for us as Christians to follow. Difficult circumstances are not excuses for us to lose faith. On the contrary, they are opportunities for our faith to grow.
The Thessalonians demonstrated patience. They endured in spite of hardships. They took their suffering and used it in positive, creative ways. In doing so, they showed love to each other. Paul also praised the Thessalonians for their abounding love toward each other. Rather than living according to their own self-interest, as suffering people often do, the Thessalonian believers had reached out to one another. Their persevering patience testified to God’s power and the reality of their faith—things that Paul could boast about to other churches – meaning that Paul could hold up the Thessalonian believers as good examples.
God’s grace and peace allow us to grow in every area of our lives, including our love for others. We can glorify God when we live our lives to our very best, when we do the greatest thing even when the wrong things are happening all around us, and when we can give encouragement to others.
God, there have been times of weariness or fear and times when we feel ready to give up, but always at the right time there came a note or a call from someone that you have lovingly placed in our lives.
Thank you that you are a God of encouragement, and that we have your Holy Spirit to help and to comfort in times of need. Show us how we can best be an encouragement to others. Amen.