“. . . your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Thessalonians 1:3b
Work. Labor. Endurance. What images do these words bring to mind? We’re not talking marshmallows and kitties here. We’re talking rolled-up sleeves, sweat, and long-distance runs. We’re talking effort and strength.
Tasks and qualities like these that take strength and determination won’t happen by accident, will they? Behind the scenes forces such as planning, preparation, and prayer all play a role in carrying out our tasks, achieving our goals, or running the race life has placed before us.
In considering the scripture above, let’s look at the Thessalonian believers to whom the apostle Paul was writing. In spite of the severe suffering they faced (1 Thes. 1:6), they were at work serving God.
Notice the behind-the-scenes activity that Paul mentioned was present in their lives. How was their work produced? By faith. What prompted their labor? Love. What inspired their endurance? Hope. Hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Let’s consider for a moment the behind-the-scenes forces present in our own lives. Among the many influences at work in us personally, is faith playing a key role in the work we do—whether our day-to-day work or our service to God? Is love the motive, the impetus behind our labor? Is hope spurring us on, helping us to endure so we can finish strong?
Let’s learn from the Thessalonian believers and make certain that faith, love, and hope are playing vital behind-the-scenes roles in our work and in our lives. Remember, it won’t happen by accident.
“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,” Ephesians 3:16
*What can we do today to strengthen one or more of these qualities in our lives?
*Flickr photo by Trostle