Day 3

You Are Our Glory and Joy

from the 1 & 2 Thessalonians reading plan

1 Thessalonians 2:1-20, 1 Corinthians 9:3-14, Hebrews 4:12

BY Kaitlin Wernet

Scripture Reading: 1 Thessalonians 2:1-20, 1 Corinthians 9:3-14, Hebrews 4:12

I send more emails every day than I can count, but there’s one that brings me an inordinate amount of joy. It’s not work-related, requires many pop culture references, and has low standards for correct grammar. Any questions as to why it’s my favorite?

You see, a few years ago, I was sitting at my desk at a new job when an email popped up from a name I recognized, yet hadn’t talked to in quite some time. “LONG LOST FRIEND” was in the subject line, and the unnecessary capitalization has become our own kind of necessary in the hundreds of emails that have been sent and received since.

What started out as a lighthearted attempt for two girlfriends to catch up over lunch breaks and between meetings became a regular rhythm in my day, and eventually, the sweetest lifeline. This email chain connected two very different lives: one single and dating, and the other newly married; one in Tennessee and the other in Mississippi. But despite our different seasons of life, both of us needed encouragement, typed-out prayers, and echoes of “me too” in ways we couldn’t before describe.

Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians puts words to why the silly emails between my friend and me aren’t so silly after all: God created our lives to be shared. When the Thessalonians read Paul’s words for the first time, I like to imagine them getting the same silly grin I do when an email pops up from my modern-day pen pal. Paul was their guy! He understood them! Thessalonica was going through their own share of suffering and affliction, but this letter was filled with gospel truths—the motivation they needed to help them endure.

Paul’s letter illustrates that being a family of faith involves knowing and being known. His writing assumes a prior two-way relationship, one that repeats phrases like “for you yourselves know” and “as you know.” Closeness in community is vital for any gospel-centered relationship—in ministry, in suffering, and everything in between. But this closeness is not merely circumstantial or emotional; it is rooted in truth and grown in grace.

One of the best ways to receive and offer encouragement in community is through God’s Word. Paul knew the importance of communicating the truth about Jesus, mentioning Him by name in every single chapter of 1 Thessalonians. As sisters in Christ, we too ought to permanently carry the gospel of hope on our tongues.

God gives us pieces of His own love when He gives us friendship with one another. Whether with a faraway friend via email or a coworker over coffee, we get to witness redemption, encourage growth, and partake in God’s goodness when we share with others “not only the gospel of God but also our own lives” (1 Thessalonians 2:8). Thanks be to God.


Post Comments (143)

143 thoughts on "You Are Our Glory and Joy"

  1. Arianna Rodriguez says:

    I would love to connect with you lovely ladies. My email is [email protected]. I look forward to meeting you all and talk about Jesus, encouragement, hope and life.

  2. Brittany BarlowSanchez says:

    This was such a beautiful reminder. Community has filled my soul with such love over the past few years. We’ve lived away from family and friends as my husband has been in school and often times we feel such loneliness, but there are people that God places in our lives constantly that help fill the void.

  3. Abigail McCormack says:

    And this has been just the devotional I was waiting for. If anyone wants to email, I’d love to chat. [email protected] :)

  4. Abigail McCormack says:

    I have been praying for a close Christian friend lately. It has been a very dark and trying season of my marriage and life and this has been

  5. Sarah Riddlebarger says:

    I’ve often found that God has brought me some of the sweetest, most treasured friendships in the darkest times of my life when I really needed that encouragement. I’d really love to invite others in and be invited in to encourage y’all too :). My email is [email protected]!

  6. Samantha says:

    To be honest, this devotional was hard to read and touched on a sore spot. I don’t have friends who keep in touch this way. My friends have literally ditched me. The people at my church don’t ask me to coffee. They only invite me to life group after life group. The church is forgetting to connect on a relational level. It’s hard to seek people out who want friendship b/c no one has time for it anymore. I just needed to be honest. This post touched a vulnerable part of me b/c I finally let someone go in my heart so I don’t need to hear this.

    1. Christi says:

      It is hard to find those people, I know. I moved to a new state last year, and it has taken me a while to build those special relationships that encourage and exhort one another. Most of my closest confidantes still live back in my hometown, and I work to maintain those needed friendships. Don’t be afraid to seek out someone who may appear to need the encouragement and sisterhood more than you do; it’s amazing how contagious compassion and understanding is on both the giving and receiving sides. Sorry for the loneliness you are going through; it is a terrible feeling, I know.

    2. Sam Burke says:

      Hi Samantha! I am deeply saddened that you feel like that in a church and I pray that you are comforted in the fact that not every church is made for every person. Have you tried seeking out a new church? It’s almost like finding a new car – you want to make sure you find the right fit because you are going to be investing in this for a while but want to be comfortable in it :)
      I’ve had to switch churches before due to the same thing and I am SO glad that I did!

  7. Bailey says:

    Wanting to jump in on that email train! [email protected]

  8. Robin NHendrich says:

    Such a sweet reminder that our friendships and communities are created by God and should be enjoyed!

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