If we’re honest, the landscape of this life is pretty hopeless sometimes.
But there is hope.
Have you placed your trust in Jesus? If not, won’t you come with us?
And if you have…
Remember that this is temporary.
And live today for the future that is to come.
We’ve been walking through this letter, 1 Thessalonians. Throughout the book, Paul has been challenging and encouraging us to embrace the refining work of God and develop in us A Real Life Faith.
One of the resonating and recurring themes is that a real life faith is forged in fire.
The late Adrian Rogers often said, “A faith that’s not been tested can’t be trusted.” There’s something to that.
Our faith never really gets strengthened unless it gets tested. It’s like a muscle. And the kind of faith that will go the distance, A Real Life Faith, is Forged in Fire.
The next few verses in this closing section of 1 Thessalonians 5 (vv. 16-22) contains what may be the most familiar verses of this letter to many of us. Here we are reminded of how we press on as family in the midst of a crazy, controversial, and contentious world.
This text is comprised of a series of very short, concise statements that have been preached, taught, memorized, and cited over and over and over again:
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil” (1 These 5.16-22).
He urges us to rejoice. I have come to understand that joy is the awareness or consciousness of grace. To rejoice, then, is to stir up our awareness of God’s grace, to take joy once again. And Paul calls us to do so always. We ought always to be conscious of God’s great grace toward us.
Continue reading Enduring… Together (Reprise)