Faith, Love and Hope

I found myself pondering these three words today; faith, love and hope. The apostle Paul in his letter to the Thessalonians told them how thankful he was in his prayers for them. Why? Because he remembered three very specific things about them that stood out, worthy of making note.

“remembering without ceasing 

your work of faith, 

labor of love, 

and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ 

in the sight of our God and Father,”  1 Thessalonians 1:3

Notice, the first two involve work! James tells us that “faith without works is dead”! (James 2:17) The Thessalonians had a working faith. They were suffering during a time of affliction and they were an genuine example to the neighboring believers. Their faith was working for them a “ far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory”.  (2 Cor 4:17)

They also practiced love during a time of affliction! The love of God is a giving love and they did not fall short in it. They loved on Paul, Silvanus and Timothy who taught foundational and important truths about the Lord and His plans to return for them. Their work and love would not be in vain!

And lastly, their patience of hope. This implies their joyful pressing on with no despair, no depression and no turning back! The promise of the Lord’s return was real. The very words of Paul tell us that they received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit. ( 1Th 1:6) and they had turned to God from idols to serve and wait for Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come. (1 Th 1:9,10)

As Paul encouraged them to faithfully continue on, let us as well. We live in a very dark world where sin abounds. Affliction is world wide and only now is seemingly coming our way in North America. 

Put on your breastplate of faith and love, there is much work to be done! And wear that helmet, the hope of salvation. It will protect our mind from the fear that affliction wants to cause.

“But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation.” 1 Thessalonians 5:8

And friend, make note: there is mention in every chapter of 1 Thessalonians of the Lords return. Why?

“so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints”.  1 Thessalonians 3:13  

“Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing”.

1 Thessalonians 5:11