The book of 1st Thessalonians was written by Apostle Paul, to the church in Thessalonica, which was an ancient city of Macedonia in northern Greece, which today is the city of Thessaloniki. It’s a short book with only five chapters, but with very useful nuggets on believers who have died, the day of the Lord and how necessary and fitting it is to please God. Life Application Study Bible (NLT) also gives a very good introduction – Paul and his companions probably arrived in Thessalonica in the early summer of A.D. 50. They planted the first Christian church in that city, but had to leave in a hurry because their lives were threatened (Acts 17:1-10). At the first opportunity, probably when he stopped at Corinth, Paul sent Timothy back to Thessalonica to see how the new believers were doing. Timothy returned to Paul with good news: The Christians in Thessalonica were remaining firm in the faith and were unified, but they had questions – hence the reason for Paul to write this letter to answer their questions and to commend them to their faithfulness to Christ.
The Thessalonians believers had faith in God and we see Paul state this “As we pray to our God and Father about you, we think of your faithful work, you’re loving deeds and the enduring hope you have because of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Its always good to have faith and a thankful attitude, to be grateful at whatever comes your way, no matter what the situation – easier said than done I know, but God’s Word tells us to be grateful in every season. To be grateful for the gift of life, because it is a gift and not a guarantee. Paul shows us this example by always starting his letters with thanksgiving and prayer. Ever since covid happened a lot of us have had questions that we can’t seem to have the right answers for. Life changed, we lost our loved ones, many people lost their jobs, children didn’t go to school, basically everything about life as we know it became different. We had to adjust to the new normal, and we forgot to be thankful and grateful to the most simple things in life.
Take time and count the blessings all around you, name them one by one, then and only then will you see how the Lord has been gracious to you. Some might say, ‘well I still don’t have a job? how do I survive? ‘I lost my loved one, how do I move on?’ well, I do know of this, when life hits you hard? you do not lean on your own strength or capabilities, but you TRUST on the SOVEREIGNTY of God, He is Sovereign in all circumstances. Why should I trust God you might ask? “we know, dear brothers and sisters, that God loves you and has chosen you to be His own people,” 1Thessallonians 1:4. God loves you so much, and hardships don’t mean that He’s abandoned us, just the same way that He was with Shadrack, Meshack and Abednego in the fiery furnace, so He will be with you. Therefore, when you can’t see clearly, when you don’t now where to go, what to do or why things are happening the way they are, just lean on Him and trust that He will carry you on His wings and bring you to safety. Learn from the Thessalonica Christians, who remained firm in their faith on God.
We have been chosen by God. All of us are particular when choosing life partners and the reason being is because we want the right person, none of us ever wants a divorce. God has carefully chosen us, all of us just the way that we are. He hasn’t sidelined or rejected some because of their behaviour, race or colour no! We are all special before Him.
Can you remember the day that you got saved? I don’t know about you but I can remember such a heavy conviction and someone telling me to walk to the front, yet I didn’t see this person, but I felt the presence, later on I learnt the name of the person who made me feel guilty of my sins, The Holy Spirit of God. And as Paul writes, “our gospel came to you not simply by words but also with power, with The Holy Spirit and deep conviction.” The work of the Holy Spirit of God cannot be done by anyone else, only He can convict us when we go wrong, by speaking to us in a still small voice.
Matthew 7:16-18 “You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.” The believers in Thessalonica were producing good fruit and the good report was seen beyond Macedonia and Achaia, wherever Paul and his companions went, they found people telling them about the faith of the Thessalonians in God. Does your life testify of your faith in God? Take time and look at the people surrounding your life, is their life worthy of imitating? if yes, good for you, if no, then it’s time to look for people who can help you grow as a Christian – life is too short. The Thessalonians imitated the life of Paul as a dear friend and the Lord. The people that surround you, can either make you or break you therefore, choose what you take from them and take only what builds you.
The Thessalonians received the gospel in the midst of severe suffering and with joy through the Holy Spirit, its comforting to know that we all go through some sort of suffering, but through our sufferings, our strength and faith is built and others are also encouraged.
Chapter one is simple and to the point
Memory verse: 1Thessalonians 1:4 “For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that He has chosen you.”