Growing Faith-2 Thessalonians 1:3-4

2 Thessalonians 1:3-4 “We ought always to thank God for you, brothers, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love every one of you has for each other is increasing. 4 Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring.”

2 Tessalonicesi 1:3-4 “Noi dobbiamo sempre ringraziare Dio per voi, fratelli, com’è giusto, perché la vostra fede cresce in modo eccellente, e l’amore di ciascuno di voi tutti per gli altri abbonda sempre di più; 4 in modo che noi stessi ci gloriamo di voi nelle chiese di Dio, a motivo della vostra costanza e fede in tutte le vostre persecuzioni e nelle afflizioni che sopportate.”

 

     Sometimes it feels like the difficulties and frustrations of our life are somehow more severe than it was in times past. It is true that every generation of believers has had to face challenges that are in many ways the same kind we have today. Out of all the churches that Paul planted, the testimony of the Thessalonian church was a remarkable example of perseverance in difficult times. They faced severe persecution, economic hardship and paganism. Paul spent time with them as well as learned from letters and friends that their faith had spread throughout the region as the church was growing (literally “to grow exceedingly”).

     Faith is not a static thing. It is either is growing or decreasing. As the Thessalonians’ faith was growing, so their relationships with one another were deepening. If faith is the root, then love becomes the fruit.

     The Thessalonian church was not a perfect church but they were a shining example that the Gospel is not intimidated by oppressive foes that come against it. They did not react to troubles the way we sometimes do by complaining and questioning God in difficult situations. Instead they viewed their circumstances as God working in them to teach them how to live under oppression. They had faith in God that He would give sufficient strength and grace to bear up under pressure as they waited for God’s answer. That doesn’t mean that they were simply passive about their faith (“whatever will be will be”) but as they prayed for help in the face of resistance, their faith became stronger and stronger. We should not seek to be persecuted, however, in order for our faith to grow but rather pray that our faith remains strong regardless of our situation. 

Pray with me: Lord, I look at strong examples of faith in the Bible like the Thessalonian church. Help me to learn that Your strength and grace is available for me to grow in my faith and in every situation.



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