#DailyDevotion What Three Things Is God Working In & Through You?
1 Thess. 12We always thank God for all of you and mention you in our prayers, 3never forgetting before our God and Father how your faith is working, your love is toiling, and your hope in our Lord Jesus Christ is enduring. 4We know, fellow Christians, whom God has loved, that He has chosen you, 5because the good news we told did not come to you with mere words, but with power, with the Holy Spirit, and with conviction, just as you know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your good. 6And you became imitators of us and of the Lord as you welcomed the Word, which brought you much suffering, with such joy in the Holy Spirit 7that you became a model for all the believers in Macedonia and Greece.
Paul and company thank God for the Thessalonian Christians and mention them regularly in their prayers. Probably a good reminder for pastors to do that for the congregations in which they were called to serve. The ministry can distract them from one of the main things to do in that ministry.
They never forget this lovely trio of things before God the Father: their faith is working, their love is toiling and their hope in our LORD Jesus Christ is enduring. You may remember from first Corinthians chapter 13 faith, hope and love.
Faith, trusting in what our LORD Jesus Christ has accomplished for us. It is believing that God the Father loves us despite what the world and our experience is telling us. They tell us that if God loved us he wouldn’t be allowing all this bad stuff to happen to us. Faith tells us this bad stuff is God’s love working in us a truer, more pure faith more precious than gold. Faith tells us to look to Jesus Christ on the cross to see how the Father treats his children and look to the empty grave to know what the end result of that treatment, the resurrection to eternal life, God’s kingdom, power and glory. Having been incorporated into Christ Jesus our faith works in us endurance, character and hope.
From this faith comes a love that toils. Love in particular towards our fellow Christians in wrought by faith. This love is working helping us to see our brothers and sisters in Christ having greater honor than ourselves. It calls us to sacrifice what is good for us for our fellow Christians. It works in us forgiveness towards them particularly when they are repentant but also when they are not, yet. For this is what our LORD Jesus Christ has done for us.
From faith and love come a hope that is enduring. If we are only Christians for a good live only in this world we could not endure. No, spurning the world and all it offers to us, because of it is merely transitory our hope looks for the world to come. It hopes for the resurrection of our bodies which will be immortal, imperishable, powerful and glorious. Our hope is enduring because it looks for a world in which sin, death and the devil no more are an influence, they are gone. Our hope endures with the promise we will see God with our own eyes, in our own flesh and find our rest in him.
Yes, the Word brings us much suffering in this life, but he brings along with it the joy of everlasting life.
Heavenly Father, ever work in us faith, love and hope in our LORD Jesus Christ so we may receive from him on the Last Day that which he promised. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.