Hope ~ Joy ~ Crown

Paul has developed a sincere bond with the people in Thessalonica. Unfortunately, he had been torn away from the Thessalonians prematurely. Although physically separated, their hearts were knit together in love just as a mother and father are knit to their children (2:7,11). I find this analogy powerful in regards to Christian love and genuineness. I know how much I love my children and Paul is suggesting that our love for brothers and sisters in Christ can be as powerful as a parent’s love. I have eagerly awaited at an airport ready to see my loved ones arrive because I  desire to see them face to face. To see their smile, to touch their skin, to feel that endless hug. Paul eagerly desired to walk around that bend on the Roman road in Macedonia and see the Thessalonians face to face. They were so dear to him (2:8)! Though eager to renew the relationship face to face Satan had hindered Paul & Co. from returning to Thessalonica. How challenging? The desire of Satan is to separate those who love each other. There is power in numbers whose love for Jesus Christ is the same. Our flesh and arch enemy is constantly waging a war of dividing people. Although divided, Paul encourages the Thessalonians with a compelling analogy.  “What is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you? For you are our glory and joy.” Okay my handkerchief is ready. I can see the tears flowing down the face of the Thessalonians as the elder of the church reads this letter to the congregation. This church was the example for all churches in Macedonia and Achaia because of their faith in the midst of horrible persecution. BOOM. That will make me stand up and take another hit for the team. Would my courage under fire inspire the likes of Paul so much that he could tell other believers watch his faith and imitate it? I’m beginning to fall in love with those who followed Christ in Thessalonica. Can’t wait to meet them some day? How am I going to find them? Probably their scars.


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