GROWING IN FAITH IS GROWING IN DEEP CONVICTION
“Paul, Silas and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace and peace to you. 2 We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers. 3 We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. 4 For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you, 5 because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. 6 You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. 7 And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. 8 The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it, 9 for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.” (1Thessalonians 1:1—10 NIV)
There is nothing compared to the Christian joy of helping each other model well the faith that we all have in Christ. When I see other faith in God grow and their lives bears the fruits of the Holy Spirit’s work through them, it brings so much joy. Paul, Silas and Timothy took time to GIVE THANKS to the believers in Thessalonica for their faith. It is good for me to recognized the growth in the faith of others and be grateful for all that God is doing in their lives. Not only that Paul was encouraged by the faith of the believers, he made a commitment to make mention of them in his prayers.
Paul pointed out things that were remarkable about the Thessalonians faith. Everything about our life with Jesus must always starts with faith. Paul remembered:
- THEIR WORKS PRODUCED BY FAITH
- THEIR LABOR PROMPTED BY LOVE
- THEIR ENDURANCE INSPIRED BY HOPE IN CHRIST
These three things are so vital in understanding how I must walk with Christ. Every work I do must PRODUCED by faith. Every ministry and all that I labor for must be prompted by love. I must be motivated by love. Anything I do without faith, will not please God. Everything that I do without being prompted or motivated by love will ended up becoming a burden. If all the works I do for Jesus is not produced by faith nor prompted and motivated by love, they will become burdens and I will lack the ability to endure nor inspired to hope.
Paul reminded the brothers and sisters that they are LOVED AND CHOSEN by God. Paul was grateful for the brothers and sisters for receiving the gospel’s power with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. To have a deep conviction and receiving the power of the Holy Spirit, I must grow deeper in my faith. I need to have faith with DEEP CONVICTION. Faith without deep conviction will not be able to ENDURE difficulties nor be inspired by hope in Christ when life seems terrible.
The Thessalonians faith was known everywhere. Their faith was heard not only in Thessalonica, but in Macedonia and Achaia, and everywhere. The Thessalonian believers became imitators of Paul and his friends faith. Because of Paul, Silas and Timothy’s faith, being able to endure sufferings, the Thessalonians imitated their faith and they were able to endure sufferings as well. Serving and walking with Jesus is not something I want to take it for granted. Walking with Jesus will always accompanying by sufferings and difficulties. Thus I need the endurance that is INSPIRED by HOPE in Jesus. In spite of severe sufferings, there will always be JOY GIVEN TO US by the Holy Spirit. He will inspire hope in the midst of our hopelessness. He will give us the endurance in the midst of severe sufferings.
I must continue to grow in faith and endure severe challenges with deep convictions that the Holy Spirit is able to give me Joy and endurance in the midst of my life’s battled. I must act in faith to do the things Jesus asks me to do, even if the conditions are not right. I must be prompted by love and have the endurance that is inspired by hope in Jesus. I must look for the JOY that the Holy Ghost gives in the midst of sufferings.
Jesus, I am so grateful for the reminder today from your word. Thank you for faith. Teach me and help me to grow in faith with deep convictions. Please help me to see that no amount of sufferings will ever takes away the endurance that is inspired by the hope that is in you. Please help me keep my eyes on you always. Amen!