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. 1 Thessalonians 1:3 NIV
Our ministry, Hope 4 My City, has recently started supporting Evangelist Rashid in Pakistan. We pray for his favor and effectiveness as he visits families to share the word of God with them. A couple of times a week, we video chat with the families and he translates a short Bible lesson and blessing prayer. When I say he visits families, sometimes he would travel 1-2 hours in one direction on a bicycle with his wife on the back. His wife was exemplifying a labor of love.
The Text –
- Paul informs the church of the things he is praying for when he “remembers” them before the Lord. Faith, love and hope are the core characteristics found inside a healthy church.
- Work of faith – the expression in the greek focuses on “work” as the activity being accomplished. The Thessalonians are busy accomplishing things for the Lord that requires faith to do them. When Paul thinks of the body of work they have produced as a church family, he sees their faith on full display.
- Labor of love – “Labor” focuses on actions performed under pressure. Acts of kindness that are performed with a sacrificial element are a “labor of love”. Love is freely given, but there is always a cost involved.
- Endurance inspired by hope – Persecution for the young church created a pressure to quit or give up. Looking to Jesus creates a hope that will endure when things become very tough to remain committed to your faith.
- These three characteristics find expressions in the rest of the letter.
- Remembering – People are very blessed and encouraged when you share how you are remembering them in prayer. We tend to see the good and potential in people that might not be as obvious to them. It’s a huge blessing to be remembered highly.
- Work of faith – What activity are you engaged in right now that requires faith in God to accomplish it? Simply put, what are you “faithing” God for? Physical strength to do ministry, believing that God will answer your prayers, or a new boldness to share the good news of Jesus could be examples of a work of faith.
- Labor of love – Sacrifice without love is a slavery that leads to bitterness. A mom birthing a baby and taking care of an infant is a labor of love. Forgiveness is a labor of love. Choosing oneness over division is a labor of love. It is preferring others first in real time.
- Endurance of hope – a large healthy oak tree does not grow over night through instant gratification. Endurance is not just for the athletic types of people. Jesus was looking at you and me, when He said, “And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.” Matthew 10:22. Keep taking the next step toward the author and finisher of your faith, Jesus. He is worth the sacrifice.
Several people gave money to help our ministry purchase a motorcycle for Rashid and Walk In Victory ministry in Pakistan. Here is his response just as he typed it. He calls Pam and I, mom and papa.
Very very good morning papa and my mom in the name of jesus christ Ameen. Yes papa today I am resved a motorcycle I am very thankful to lord father because God always doing good for us and papa I am keep praying to God . O my God I pray for my spiritual papa and mom and all family lord please always bless them and papa and mom very good working in Pakistan and shear the word of God and help us o lord this motorcycle papa and mom give me for your work with my wife lubana please bless us we use this motorcycle for you. In the name of jesus christ Ameen
Blessings on your Faith, Love and Hope. Love y’all