November 27 (Daily reading: 1 & 2 Thessalonians) This commentary is adapted from my book, “We Love Because God First Loved Us,” pages 51-52.
(1 Thes. 1:2-4, NIV) Paul wrote to the Thessalonians about their faith, love and hope. He first remembered their “work produced by faith.” Our faith leads us to do God’s work, believing that He is present with us, and that His power is available to us. We don’t always see the results, but our faith leads us to “just do it!”
Paul next remembered their “labor prompted by love.” Work can become laborious, and it is love that takes us forward. When our faith needs reviving, God’s love motivates us. Paul encouraged them: “For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you.” When the work is difficult, we remember that we have been chosen by God because He loves us! God’s love in us becomes love that we return to Him and express to one another. Love just keeps on going!
Paul remembered finally their “endurance inspired by hope.” God’s love gives us hope and keeps us from giving up, because we know that God has not given up on us! There is a saying: “When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on!” I heard Paul Powell add in a sermon: “But there may not be enough rope left to tie a knot!” In a time like that, we know that the knot is already there at the end of the rope, and that knot is “hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” What is the role of hope in doing God’s work? “The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it” (1 Thes. 5:24, NIV). We have hope in the promise of God’s faithfulness. We are encouraged by the fact that when God calls us to do His work, He Himself will be faithful to accomplish it!
– Al Gary