1 Thessalonians 1:2-3 (New International Version)
We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing. Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring.
The Apostle Paul expressed his joy for a congregation that were known throughout the Christian community for demonstrating their faith. But notice what was the basis of their reputation – the persecution they endured.
God’s Word for today is the exact sentiment that my wife and I feel in our hearts for the New Piney Grove church family. We all have been dealing with the persecution of the pandemic for some time now. But you all have been super. Your love and support of your church, your pastor, and his wife during these times are proof of a growing faith.
Since God is all-knowing, nothing occurs unless He allows it. So, this morning, the message will address God’s purpose for our persecution. My prayer is that you will be encouraged and continue to grow in the LORD.
The pandemic has taught us many things. One of the things is to appreciate things we often take for granted. We miss the physical fellowship we had in the past and are looking forward to returning to full worship in the future. But seeing the faith development and growth in you, despite trials, overshadows the hardships. And for that, we thank God for each of you.