(1 Thessalonians 2:14-20) – “…you are our glory and joy.”
Paul points out the beauty of their obedience in the midst of trial. It made him proud to see them not only accept the word of God for what it is, but to also live in light of its truths.
The fact that they were suffering is not commended, but the way they responded was.
Paul’s joy was exploding because he was seeing the expansion of the Gospel in an amazing way. Gentiles were coming to Christ and living with the power of the Holy Spirit.
Side note… Paul’s comments about the Jews should not be considered anti-Semitic. He himself was Jewish. He’s merely condemning their actions as immoral and ungodly, deserving of wrath.
This is something Paul would do for anyone.
The point to notice here though is Paul’s deep loving desire for these people. He truly cared for them.
He didn’t just want to teach truth, he wanted to be involved in their lives.
And this passage shows that Satan hates when we care for another in this way.
He wants us to be separated from one another, to be at odds with one another, to be okay with keeping each other at arm’s length.
Paul wanted a relationship with his people that involved a deep investment, an eternal connection, and an unbreakable unity.
We shouldn’t settle for mediocrity in our Christian relationships. We should pursue love and good works, stimulating one another to adore Christ and care for our neighbors.