1 Thessalonians 1:1-3 Paul, Silas and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace and peace to you. We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers. We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
You know what’s the worst? When we set out to complete a task and feel totally unmotivated. You have a term paper due, but you’re totally unexcited about it. You know the dishes need to be done, but you’re so tired. We’ve all been there.
Paul, Silas, and Timothy wrote to the Thessalonian believers and expressed thanks and appreciation for their “work, labor, and endurance” motivated by “faith, love, and hope.” If you look into the words work, labor, and endurance, you’ll find they describe a start, a progression, and a continuation: the start of a job, the progression of that job into something that results in a challenge, and the sustained effort. In the case of the Thessalonians, started in Christ, were soon beset by persecution, yet they endured.
Our work for the Lord begins with faith. Our faith in Christ provides our purpose—we now have a different perspective and outlook on life. Our job is no longer to make a living and enjoy life, but to serve God through Christ. Our faith is coupled with love, which, according to Christ’s teaching, motivates us to commit to selfless service. Selfless service will inherently place us where we will experience trouble, labor, or injustice. If you think about it, service will never occur without some sort of associated cost. You can see why Paul, Silas, and Timothy coupled faith and love with work and labor.
Laboring can become tiring, but laboring for Christ will endure because of our hope. We know that our labor is not in vain, that good will come of it, that all will be made right one day, and that a reward awaits those who labor. Thus, we endure in our labor.
Are we working for the Lord? Are we laboring? Be encouraged, this is the best work a person can choose. We have the best boss, and you can’t beat the pay. And the retirement plan is out of this world! In other words, we have plenty of motivation to labor for the Lord and endure in it.
Lord, show me what work you want me to be doing for You and I will labor and endure in it. I know that You are good, and it is good to work for You. So here I am. Take and use me as You will.