Faith Amid Persecution

Open Your Bible

1 Thessalonians 1:1-10, Romans 8:35-39, 1 Peter 4:12-14

Theologian G. K. Chesterton believed “that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” Paul is setting an example for his beloved Thessalonians by weaving his own thankfulness throughout this letter to them. And he doesn’t just thank them for doing a great job; he thanks God for all the saving benefits bestowed on them, and celebrates the evidence of the gospel in their lives (1Thessalonians 1:2–5). 

Paul is thankful for how they have become imitators of the Lord, bearing His image to the Macedonians. He is thankful for how “the word of the Lord rang out from [them]” through faith and in everything He has called them to do (vv.6–8). They have done all of this with joy, strengthened by the Holy Spirit, and despite ongoing persecution. Paul is thankful for these things because he knows that if they remain rooted in the love of Christ, they will be “more than conquerors” (Romans 8:37) over the affliction and distress and persecution they will surely encounter because of their devotion to Him (v.35).

But above all, Paul’s thanks are to God. 

All good comes from God, so apart from Him, no good can be hoped for by sinners. Paul’s thanks to God are appropriate because God is the author of all that is good—not just all the good that comes to us, but even all the good that is done by us, whether in good or dire circumstances. 

Do you find yourself in a habit of gratefulness to God? When I consider the words that come out of my mouth, I’m definitely teasing or complaining at least as much as I’m blessing and thanking.

If you also find yourself struck by the mockery and ungratefulness that escapes your lips and hangs around your mind, you’re in good company. But don’t just grit your teeth and try harder. Paul immediately points us to the three cardinal graces: faith, hope, and love. And he doesn’t say, “Try harder, y’all! Get you some more faith, hope, and love!” Instead, he names the cause of these graces: our Lord, Jesus Christ.

All good comes from Christ, and any change in our hearts comes from Him. He is the object and also the instigator of our thankfulness. For the gospel comes to us not only in words, but also in power (1Thessalonians 1:5)—His power.

(102) Comments

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102 thoughts on "Faith Amid Persecution"

  1. Addie Embry says:

    Such a good message to focus on letting “the Word of the Lord” ring out from us. Too often it’s the world that I’m reflecting and speaking of, not Christ

  2. Samantha Ewing says:

    Yes!! It is the freedom we have in Christ that we are set free!

  3. Erin Carr says:

    This is just so applicable to me right now! So grateful for The Word!

  4. Samantha Richards says:

    Beautiful ❤️

  5. Madison Odom says:

    How amazing is it that god calls us to glorify in him even through our worst troubles. A lot of times non believers think that is Christians are never supposed to bare trouble in our lives but in reality we may have even more trouble than non believers. Remember when going through those troubles to continue to rejoice in God as that is the ultimate determination of faith!

  6. Portia says:

    All good comes from Christ, and any change in our hearts comes from Him. God has been reminding me of this lately! This removes the burden from me because I don’t have to change and/or fix myself. I do need to practice my spiritual disciplines so that God can change my heart.
    Amen! ❤️

  7. Hannah Gealy says:

    Giving thanks in all circumstances!

  8. Jennifer Brummell says:


  9. Thora Harding says:

    Thank you my Lord

  10. Thora Harding says:


  11. Kaylee Pike says:


  12. Angela Flowers says:

    Praise God from whom ALL blessings flow!

  13. Katie Benson says:

    “All good comes from Christ, and any change in our hearts comes from Him. He is the object and also the instigator of our thankfulness” ❤️

  14. Misty Portland says:

    Thankful for this word today!

  15. Brandi Smith says:


  16. Paula Strong says:

    This is so good. I have noticed so much negativity coming from my mouth. Yes there is lots of yucky stuff going on but I want to start focusing on the good!

  17. Kim Robinson says:

    If we remain rooted in the love of Christ, we will be “more than conquerors”

  18. Jennifer Ivey says:

    Praying that the evidence of the gospel will been reflected in my life. That is an amazing truth! That we are called to be image bearers. Beautiful!

  19. Brandy Deruso says:

    All good comes from god!

  20. Caroline says:

    “All good comes from Christ, and any change in our hearts comes from Him.”

    It is such a good reminder that it is God who changes our hearts and it is His power working in and through us to serve and worship Him. So often I feel like I have to “make it happen” on my
    own. Thank you Jesus that you produce a heart of thankfulness within in me! :) I love you!

  21. Kristina Mari says:

    You’re not Erin!

  22. Alexis Mendibles says:


  23. Claudia says:

    I actually missed this reading yesterday, so I’m glad that Day 3 was not up, yet. I don’t want to sound self-centered, but I genuinely believe God wanted me to see this today. I’m a health care worker and was feeling overwhelmed by the the long, hard, stressful day ahead. But, I was comforted by these words: “Your work produced by faith, your labor motivated by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” With this thought I will approach my work day, every day.

  24. Katie Ferry says:

    I can empathize, Jo! My husband and I are both pastors, and find ourselves in fiery trials. Coming against mind sets and trying to shift culture. We feel called to lead in presence over program and others don’t see the value in that. Yes, I believe we are suffering for Christ as those who have been given a mantle of leadership within the body! Continue to draw your strength from Him! As Joshua says, “be bold and courageous”. I will be lifting you up in prayer!

  25. Ellen Martin says:

    It’s amazing to me, but once I start writing down things I’m thankful for, I start to think of more and more things!!

  26. Erin Blaize says:

    Glad I’m not the only one missing Day 3!

  27. Laura J says:

    Hope Day 3 is up soon! In the meantime, He Reads Truth is up. Readings for today are: 1 Thessalonians 2:1-12, Luke 6:43-45, Hebrews 4:12

  28. Brittany Turner says:


  29. Tabitha Vickery says:

    Anyone know when day 3 will be released?

  30. Deanna says:

    All – you can get the scriptures here:

    Can’t wait for the commentary :)

  31. Gina says:

    Needed this today. Thank you.

  32. Sheri Clark says:

    Day 3 is missing

  33. Ellen says:

    Day 3 is missing from website.
    Have a beautiful day!

  34. ERB says:

    Day 3 is missing…. hopefully it will be up soon! Be Blessed dear sisters ❤️

  35. Malani Akiona-Pasion says:


  36. Jenn says:

    @Whitney Same with my gratitude journal, but I do it anyway. Sometimes I feel like I am being grateful for the silly things, but I do it anyway lol both my prayer journal and my gratefulness journal. Sometimes it’s for things as simple as the beauty of nature, the air I breathe, etc but I understand exactly what you are saying. I think, surely I have better things to be grateful for. But maybe the act of writing it down is enough? You should try it ;)

  37. Marianne says:

    Missing day 3 …

  38. Mikayla Nieves says:

    If we remain rooted in The love of Christ, we will be “more than conquerors.”
    I LOVE THAT SO MUCH. You continually hear people saying “We are more than conquerors” but the most important part is.. are we living our life rooted in Christ and His love? Is Christ’s love something we think about every single day? It’s so much more than “since we are Christians, we are more than conquerors”

  39. Natasha R says:

    @Tina, I’m praying for your niece, little Ollie and the rest of the family. I also pray that God guides the team that is caring for them.

  40. Abby Johnson says:

    I love the pep talk image! I totally see that too!

  41. Morgan Walker says:

    This may be odd, but the first part of this letter made me think of a pep talk a coach would give in the locker room before a big game that reassures you that you have been practicing and putting in the work…. I imagine them reading the letter before everyday, before they face the world, and they are uplifted and reminded of what the Lord has done for and through them. And that they are qualified and worthy of it.

  42. Mandy Davis says:

    I’m so grateful for His continued everlasting grace and mercy!

  43. Traci Gendron says:

    Tina I donated my kidney to my son 6 years ago. It is an amazing thing to be able to do. We got through it with flying colors! I pray that your niece and her son have the same easy time of it.

  44. Lauren Johns says:

    To God be the glory! So happy for you and your family.

  45. Melody Bates says:

    This was one of those things we all need reminding of. I try to give thanks to God but like everyone else, I fall short.

    Right now, I’m thinking about Crowder’s song, “Good God Almighty.” The first part of the chorus goes:
    Good God almighty
    I hope you find me
    Praising Your name no matter what comes. ‘Cause I know where I’d be
    Without your mercy
    So I’ll keep praising your name at the top of my lungs

    Thank you God for everything You have done for me. May I never take it for granted.

  46. Tina says:


    For all your prayers and uplifting of my family, especially brave little Ollie and his amazing mum..

    Both are doing well with all going as expected, PRAISE GOD! Ollie will be in intensive care for the next few days, being monitored, but he’ll have to stay in isolation for 10 weeks! FOR GODS GLORY, I think we’d take anything..

    For now Sisters, just know that each and everyone of you, have been part of the army raising an Alleluia for Ollie and his mama, and I cannot thank you enough..

    Thank you..
    Thank you.
    Thank you.

    In Paul’s words..

    We(I) always thank God for you all and always mention you in my prayers..
    May grace and peace be yours.. always.

    Thank you..❤❤

  47. Jennifer Anapol says:

    Praying for you, Jo, and your husband. I’m so sorry that you’re feeling persecuted by the body of Christ. That is not the way it is suppose to be.

  48. Jo Turnbull says:

    Please pray for my husband and myself. The fiery trials we are facing are from within the body of Christ and it is so hard to balance these words of encouragement with that reality! Are we to take joy in these trials in the same way?! Are we suffering for Christ in this?! I just don’t know. All I know is he is more than conqueror so we are too, and one day there will be no more sadness or trials. Thankful for this network. X

  49. Mercy says:

    Paul revealed such tenderness in his love towards the Thessalonians. “We give thanks to God ALWAYS for you all, making mention of you in our prayers, remembering WITHOUT CEASING your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ”. Faith, Love, Hope were weaved in here, and are the backbones of the early church’s strength for their relationships, alongside with Work, Labour and Patience which are fueled by the previous 3 Faith, Love, Hope. Such a compact verse but says a lot. 1 Corinthians 13:13 says, “Three things will last forever: faith, hope, and love; and the greatest of these is love”.

    May we build our relationships with one another, in church, in family, in workplace based on the example of these verses.

    @Tina: lifting your family in prayers, Jesus goes with you and every member. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly”. May your family experience this abundant life to the FULLEST in every aspects, in Jesus’ mighty name we pray!

    @Sarah: praying for your daughter and divine doors /opportunities to be opened. Happy birthday to your daughter. God bless you and your family always.

  50. Emily says:

    Y’all I have been struggling a lot lately because I’m human and I sinned, like big time. I’m pouring myself back into the scripture and walking with the Lord again. Let me tell ya, this reading today, I didn’t even know how much I needed it. Again, if it weren’t for the Shes and this awesome community I wouldn’t be able to grasp nearly as much! I’m thankful for every single one of you and therefore I’m so thankful for the Lord!

    Also, @Sarah – from another April 6th birthday goer- Happy Birthday to your daughter!

  51. Lindar324 says:

    @Tina praying for all involved. Lord in your mercy, hear our prayers.

  52. PamC says:

    Tina I’m adding my prayers to everyone’s here.
    Rebecca such a beautiful devotional today. Thank you.
    I have a request today as well. My niece hears today whether she’s been accepted to Harvard. She’s afraid to even hope. I pray that yay or nay she will be at peace…I’m also praying salvation for she and her twin sister.

  53. La'Lisa Pugh says:

    Standing in prayer

  54. Katarina Friedman says:

    Praying for your family Tina. I loved that reminder that we don’t have to try harder we just need to lean into him more for he is our strength and gives us power. Needed that reminder this morning

  55. Tricia Cavanaugh says:

    I’m praying for all of you with requests today. God is faithful and will be with you and your family/friends through each situation. Glory!

  56. Tricia Cavanaugh says:

    With all going on now, I really appreciate Paul’s words in Romans. He reminds us that nothing can separate us from Christ’s love. Though we may suffer trials like the Thessalonians did, we can rest assured that God is ever with us and loves us through it all.

  57. Sharon Gustovich says:

    Praying for your family in their time of need, Tina. GOD IS GOOD!!! And He works miracles. Also praying for the medical staff that are working with your family. Thank you for the privilege to lift you all up to our Father!

  58. Alexis says:

    Tina, praying for you, Ollie and and the rest of the family. May the peace of God cover you all.

  59. Maura says:

    Praying for your daughter Sarah, His provision for a job that she can be a blessing in and that will really bless her life. Praying for you too Tina. Thankful for the ways You hold us all in you love Jesus. Be with all those who are suffering Lord, hungry, in need of clothes, medical care, a touch, those who are addicted, alone, scared and angry, in pain. Your mercies are new every morning Lord. Help us/me to have eyes to see and hearts filled with your love to reach out to others. Thank you Jesus for all you will do this day. Thank you that you are blessing, battling, curing, healing, teaching, listening, compassionate, mighty, loving. Thank you Lord God.

  60. Mari V says:

    @Sarah “Happy birthday” to your sweet daughter. Only 22 years old. Praying for you Sarah.

  61. Mari V says:

    Sweetest Tina, praying for Ollie and his mommy. Please let us know how they do.

  62. E _ says:

    Seeing God’s hope, faithfulness, and providence in the little things today. Open my eyes Lord!

  63. Dorothy says:

    Rebecca said it all in the last paragraph, “All good comes from Christ, and any change in our hearts comes from Him. He is the object and also the instigator of our thankfulness. For the gospel comes to us not only in words, but also in power (1Thessalonians 1:5)—His power.” I needed to hear this and will be writing this on an index card and putting it up where I can see it regularly.
    Have a great day sisters.

  64. Nads says:

    @TAYLOR: Please write about your first days of work once done…as a fellow OT (called to it since childhood) who loves her profession, I’m so giddy alongside you!

    @TINA, I am praying for everyone involved!! I loved your own plea for her niece’s husband in particular because I know it is often harder for the one watching loved ones than the “patient” themselves. Praying for all! (When it was MY turn, I left my hubby in the waiting room with artwork of Jesus’s hand on a surgeon in the OR.)

    My dad is recovering slowly from his stroke and is a much more vulnerable version of the unbreakable pillar of a man he was raised and is known to be…I welcome this gentler version but, please continue to pray for Mom and all who will need to serve him when he leaves hospital.

    God bless all of you my SRT sisters❣️

  65. Mari V says:

    Any changes in our hearts comes from Christ. Philippians 4:13
    “ I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength“. I give my God. My Jesus. All the glory! I am nothing without HIM.

  66. Rebekah Tennant says:

    I am praying for all those involved today, Tina! Praying for God’s incredible peace and guidance and healing.

  67. Donna Wolcott says:

    Dear Tina, prayers for your family this day and in the healing days to come.

  68. M H says:

    Praying, Tina.❤️

  69. ADB says:

    Tina, praying for Ollie, your niece, and their extended family and the doctors, nurses and others who are a part of the surgeries today and those who transport the kidney.

  70. Angie says:

    The scriptures today and the devotional are beautiful. Thank you Rebecca for sharing.
    Activity for the Lord, produced by faith, motivated by love, sustained in the hope and inspiration of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Thankful thoughts and gratitude soaked in wonder in, through, and to ourTriune God. Humbly we praise You.

  71. ADB says:

    Sarah, praying for your daughter and you.

  72. Paula Meyer says:

    @whitney turns life I hope this helps, I posted a reply to you, and then went to look up the scripture I was referring to. Jesus taught, “He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a little thing is unrighteous also in much. If therefore you have not been faithful in the use of unrighteous riches, who will entrust the true riches to you?” (Luke 16:11).

  73. Linda Gilbow says:

    I’ve struggled a lot with my gripy thoughts here lately because of an irritating relationship, plus some changes in life that are coming in the near future that I don’t like. Yikes, this lesson hit home. How much I have to be grateful for!!! My future is in His hands, so I don’t have to dread it. As for the relationship, how can I honor God in it?

  74. Paula Meyer says:

    I feel the same way, more often than not. But I believe we can be thankful for every breath we take, for He has given us all, even to his dying breath. When we are thankful for little, He will honor and give us more to be thankful for. As in… is it not a practice for us to be faithful with little, for we can be faithful with much. I do not remember the chapter and verse, I will go look it up.

  75. Allison Jones says:

    Praying for Ollie and his Mama.

  76. Deb Ireland says:

    I love how the Thessalonians are remembered for their work of faith, labor of love, and steadfastness of hope. I pray that I might have these qualities as a walk with him and serve others especially in hard times.

  77. Bethany B says:

    Thankful for the study today! Tina, I’m sending prayers for you and your dear family. May God’s power bring healing, wisdom and strength to Ollie, his mom and the medical team. May our gracious God bring good health to Ollie. Stay encouraged my dear sister.

  78. Cheryl Read says:

    Praying now for your niece, Ollie and family. Praying for you, the doctors and nurses. Praying for the peace that passes all understanding. May you all feel His presence.

  79. Sarah says:

    Today is my special needs daughter’s 22nd birthday! Our journey has been full of trials but my prayer is that I will rejoice all the more, as we read in 1Peter 4!
    Sisters, can I ask you to pray with me that this year will bring my daughter a meaningful job? Thank you!

  80. Mom to many says:

    What a beautiful gift your niece is giving her son Tina-truly the gift of life. Praying for your family that they can feel the palpable love of Jesus throughout the day and that each one is sheltered under His wings. For every detail of the surgery to be perfect and for Ollie’s little body to accept the kidney.

    Lord have mercy

  81. Ellen Martin says:

    Praying for you & your family today!

  82. Taylor says:

    So much good stuff in today’s devotion! Some reflections I had: Where is the evidence of the gospel in my own life? How do I imitate the Lord? Loved the quote that “Jesus is the object and the instigator of my gratitude.” I looked up Ann Voskamp’s Joy Dare mentioned by Jennifer Wing and today’s prompt is “3 gifts nailed together”. I immediately thought of the cross, as there were 3 nails that pierced Jesus, but then I also thought of faith, hope, and love that were discussed in today’s devotion. BECAUSE of Jesus being nailed to the cross, we may experience faith, hope, and love like no other!

    Praying for your family today Tina! May the surgery be successful and the family feel peace that surpasses all understanding!

  83. Sharon, Jersey Girl says:

    Praying for you and your family Tina. May God’s peace and grace rest upon you all. May God bestow his wisdom on all of the doctors and nurses, and may He use the gifts He has equipped each of them with, to aid in the surgery and the aftercare of your little nephew and your niece. Much prayers for each of you…remembering from our reading today – God is always good.

  84. Leslie Warnick says:

    Tina…prayers for Ollie and your niece and your family, prayers for the surgical teams and for all who care for your loved ones. Father In Heaven May you be glorified in this

  85. Jennifer Wing says:

    Ann Voskamp has a Joy Challenge on her website with a calendar for the year and 3 gratitude prompts for each day — I’ve loved how it helps me think creatively about gratitude.

  86. Whitney Turnacliff says:

    I have a gratitude journal that I have yet to start because I feel like I would be writing the same things over and over. Which I guess would be okay? Throughout the day (not as much as I need to) I thank God for little things I see happening, and when I pray in the mornings or at night I thank him for the day I had, having shelter, did, etc. I guess I feel like none of that is really important enough to be written down. Sometimes I feel like I should have specific amazing things to thank him for on the daily. Repetitive and simple things I feel like God is just saying “Eh. That’s all you’re going to thank me for today. You can do better than that.”

  87. Sydney S says:

    Thankful that God has the power to change our hearts. Without his grace and mercy, I would have nothing. Thank you Jesus for delivering us. Hallelujah!

  88. Julie Ganucheau says:

    Praying for your niece, her husband, daughter and.little Ollie this am as well as for you Tina! Praying for the medical and surgical team. ❤️

  89. Jeannie Wilson says:

    Praying, Tina, for your family during this time.
    I am so thankful for God and his grace that gives us faith, hope, and love. Thank you, Jesus, for loving me and the change that You’ve brought about and continue to bring in my life. I liked how Rebecca said that Jesus is the”author and instigator” of our thankfulness. I am so thankful for that!

  90. Stacey Keller says:

    Tina, praying for successful surgery for your niece and her son; for God’s peace and presence to be around her husband and daughter as well, and around the family and friends praying for them.

  91. Churchmouse says:

    How tender Paul starts his letter to the Thessalonians, referring to them as “brethren beloved by God.” The Thessalonians were experiencing much tribulation, perhaps at times they wondered where God was, and yet they persevered and stayed strong in their faith. Paul reminds them of God’s love for them. Paul recounts all he has heard about their perseverance which reveals their own love for God and trust in His Word. The Thessalonians have left Paul speechless: “we have no need to say anything.” Today let us lift up our suffering Christian brothers and sisters across the earth.

  92. Ann V says:

    Praying for your whole family, Tina. Thanking god for your faith and His faithfulness and thanking Him for all the ways he has walked with us in the past and will continue to do so In the future.
    Thankfulness always comes hand in hand with remembrance for me.

  93. Churchmouse says:

    Dear Tina, I’m adding my prayers for successful surgery and full recovery for little Ollie and your niece. And peace for all the extended family (you!) and friends who no doubt will be a source of strength and support for them. I have a painting in my home of a surgical team at work and Jesus is standing behind the surgeon. There is nowhere He isn’t and so He will be with Ollie and your niece, ever watchful, every caring.

  94. CeeGee says:

    TINA, I agree in prayer for your family and the medical teams united in this moment. May God shine forth through this most delicate procedure.
    Today’s reading reminds me to be thankful for the many ‘good examples’ He has provided to nourish my Christian growth and to keep the faith!

  95. Ashley N says:

    Prayers for you, your family, and the medical team, Tina!!

  96. Blessed Beth says:

    Oh Tina I am in prayer for your niece, her family and especially little Ollie may he feel the precious hands of Jesus holding him, comforting and loving Him. There are times we need this, times when we can do nothing but rest in His arms of love.

  97. Stefanie Yung says:

    Tina, praying the Lord’s hand is over you all and filling each of you with grace and peace. In Jesus’ name!

  98. Carol says:

    Tina, I am offering prayers for your niece, her son, husband and daughter, and their family. May God guide the hands of the surgical team, nurses, doctors, technicians, and all taking care of them. I also give thanks to God for your wisdom and love you have shared with us throughout the years.

  99. Searching says:

    TINA – praying for your niece and her son, for successful surgeries and speedy, full recoveries, peace and calmness through this process. Thankful for amazing, God-given medical knowledge that makes these surgeries possible.

    LAUREN BEDDINGFIELD – praying for C, and for her parents.

    JEN BREWER – praying for you and your family, for the misunderstanding/miscommunication to be sorted out, and soon. I know from my own experiences that conflicts like these take a toll on the whole family. I pray all will realize how precious these relationships are and that this life is too short to allow things to continue to fester.

  100. Kelly says:

    @Tina will be praying for your family. Thank you for giving us an opportunity to join you before the throne.

  101. Tina says:

    This morning I find myself thanking God for this new day, this day He has given us afresh. I am thanking Him for His Word that has come to me today as I find myself on my knees for my niece and her son as they go off to hospital for her to give one of her kidneys to her 4year old son.
    My heart pounds hard in my chest..

    But God..

    Dear wonderful, merciful, good, faithful, trust worthy, loving God, I am and will be thankful as I pray for the surgeons, the doctors, the nurses, the aftercare, whose studies and education has brought them to this day, this day the Lord has made, thankful for them and the part they will play in their operations.( though a few minutes away,my niece will be in a different hospital to her son) oh God in your mercy hear our prayers..
    Thankful, and thanking God for His faithfulness to those who know Him and trust and hope in Him..
    I thank God for spring, for new life, new beginnings, and for the Hope that is in Jesus.. Sunday came… I’m hanging on to that!
    Giving thanks to God, for the ever changing world, but that HE, never changes..the same yesterday, today and Alleluia He will be the same tomorrow.. the Hope we have in Him steadfast and true..
    Forever thanking God for you, my SRT family, for the journeying together, the encouragements, prayers, love and grace and support over the years..

    Thank you Sisters, to that end might I solicited your prayers for these precious family members as they face this day, for my niece not to be anxious and worried for her baby, but to know peace, God’s peace that absolutely passes all understand.. for her husband who is a strong man in character, but I suspect is paddling very hard under water right now, God be gracious to him in this time, give him peace to focus and wisdom. For little Ollie, that he is not frightened or scared. For his older sister(9) who has been in this from the beginning and knows what is going on, for her not to be anxious and worried .. my brother, her mum and her siblings, and the wider family as we walk with them Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.

    Thank you Sisters wrapped in gratitude and a thankful heart for you all.

  102. Bridgette says:

    What a beautiful letter to the Thessalonians in Thessalonians 1:1-10. To be encouraged for your steadfastness to the glory of God produces even more steadfastness. It reminds me that we are known by our fruit and like Paul encountering others who were affected by the Thessalonians, no one has to go behind you to promote you or explain your actions because your actions along with the power of God and evidence of the Holy Spirit, will speak for itself. And not only speak for itself but spread like wildfire all to the glory of God because God’s word does not return void.