Keep Going!

Image: Keep Going!

When being a Christian is hard, remember this word of encouragement from 1 Thessalonians.

Do you feel like you get enough encouragement?

When we are kids we seem to get a lot of encouragement. We get congratulated on tying our shoes or mastering a new skill, we get certificates for participating and encouragement on the sporting field.

But when we are teenagers it seems to slow down and by the time we are adults it almost disappears. We might get the odd good word here or there about a report card or a job well done but instead it feels like people are quick to complain or point out our problems and mistakes.

With that in mind, I want to encourage you take a look at 1 Thessalonians 1, which is a chapter of encouragement.

Paul, Silas and Timothy have written to the Thessalonian church to encourage them and to tell them they’re doing well in the Christian life.

The kind of encouragement we all need to hear

The Thessalonian Christians were facing severe suffering, take a look at verse 6:

1 Thess 1.6: “And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit.”

It was no easy thing to be a Christian in Thessalonica. There were some pretty stubborn and pushy enemies of the church in that city… and those enemies liked to make things difficult.

The very first time Paul and Silas visited the city of Thessalonica with the gospel, they were run out of town. Certain influential people decided they didn’t like the gospel, or the fact that some of the Thessalonians were becoming Christians. So they went to the local markets, rounded up some local criminals and thugs, and paid them to start a violent protest.

Even after Paul and Silas made their escape, some of those thugs followed them to the next town to try and stir up more trouble and violence there. You can read the whole story in Acts 17:1-15.

Being a Christian in Thessalonica was no easy thing. You’d face rejection and ridicule, persecution and even violence if you were a follower of Jesus. Paul called it “much affliction”.

Sticking it out

After all that affliction, it’s no surprise Paul decided to sit down with his mates Silas and Timothy and write a letter to the Thessalonian church. And that letter was meant to encourage them! Encourage them to keep going, to stick with it, to “hang in there” as followers of Jesus.

In this chapter, we can see Paul encourage the church by reminding them that God loves them, and God had already done a great work in their lives. They might be rejected and mocked by their neighbours, but they have been loved and chosen by God.

In fact, if I could sum up Paul’s message from Chapter 1 in one sentence, it would go like this:

We know that God has chosen you because the gospel came with power, and you have welcomed the message.

That’s true of the Thessalonians – and so that’s a great reason for them to KEEP GOING in the gospel. But that sentence is true of any true Christian today as well.

So if you are a Christian, and if you’re in need of some encouragement take these words to heart:

We know that God has chosen you because the gospel came with power, and you have welcomed the message.


Edited by Karina Marlow

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