1Th 1:3 “Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;”
Please note beloved the oft repeated trinity of Christian virtues, faith, hope and love. Also note the words “in the sight of God”.
1 Cor 13:13 “And now abide faith, hope and love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” This threefold fruit of The Spirit is evidence of genuine salvation and a Spirit-filled body. Saints, what God saw in these saints is what is looking for in you and me personally and your local fellowship.
(1) Work of faith. That is, works which result from faith. – James 2:14-26, Hebrews 11:4-12,17-39. The faith of the believers at Thessalonica was the fruit of genuine repentance. When they turned to God, they turned away from idols with the evidence of good works. Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
(2) Labor of love. The word for labor here means wearying toil involving sweat to the point of exhaustion. Their self denying toil for others motivated by a love for Christ and for one another. 2 Cor 5:14, 1 Cor 13:1-8. Our faith is not a passive or lazy man’s faith. Trust in Jesus and in His saving purposes compels us to work for Him. Love for Jesus and our fellow man prompts us to act in love for others.
(3) Patience of hope. the word for patience here describes the capacity to hold out or bear up in the face of difficulty. And what was the source of this patience? Their faith in Christ Jesus and hope of Our Lord’s return for His church. Read Titus 2:13.
The Thessalonians expected the imminent return of Jesus Christ which is one of the reasons why Paul would have to tell them to not quit their jobs and just sit lazily at home awaiting for Him to come. Occupy until Jesus comes is the duty of every Christian! Hope in Christ’s promised return inspires us to continue working patiently until we meet Him in the air or see Him face to face. There is an Irish Proverb that says, “Hope is the physician of every misery.” Jesus is the only hope for our misery dear ones.
How did Paul know these people were saved, and the elect of God? By their works of faith, self-denying labors of love and a patient (but hopeful) waiting for the Lord Jesus to return for us. All of this is because of the sovereign work of God’s grace. Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith. He is the source and object of our love. He is our hope!! Blessed be His Holy Name!
Reader, have you placed your complete faith in Him? Are you putting that faith on display by acts of love in His Name? Does your life reflect a true sense of anticipation of His return?