Having experienced some degree of suffering or trials of various kinds, I often reflect back on my attitude when going through these times and feel a sense of shame. Like most of us, I descend into a spirit of complaining, if not verbally, in my heart and mind. We forget that this attitude affects others around us as well as ourselves. What should happen during these times?
Paul thanked God for the Thessalonians; “because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing. Therefore, we ourselves boast about you in the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith in all your persecutions and in the afflictions that you are enduring” (2 Thessalonians 1:3–4). Notice what was taking place in them:
§ Their faith was growing abundantly.
§ Their love for each other was growing.
§ There was a steadfastness or endurance about their faith that even suffering, affliction and persecution could not shake.
Is this becoming true of you and me? None of us have “arrived” at a perfect state, so there is always room for growth. You may be the only person in your fellowship or community that desires this kind of growth, but I challenge you to make a commitment to grow like the Thessalonians and have a direct impact on others (1 Thessalonians 1:7-10). Please email me at the following address if you accept this challenge; email@example.com.
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