The testing of our faith
As a result, you have become an example to all the believers in Greece—throughout both Macedonia and Achaia. And now the word of the Lord is ringing out from you to people everywhere, even beyond Macedonia and Achaia, for wherever we go we find people telling us about your faith in God. We don’t need to tell them about it, for they keep talking about the wonderful welcome you gave us and how you turned away from idols to serve the living and true God. And they speak of how you are looking forward to the coming of God’s Son from heaven—Jesus, whom God raised from the dead. He is the one who has rescued us from the terrors of the coming judgment. 1 Thessalonians 1:7-10 NLT
Faith will always be tested. When people decided to turn away from serving and worshiping idols and start serving the One true God, they will be persecuted. Not only that they will be rejected by their families, their faith in God can result in losing their jobs. Testing will prove the faith we claim we have. Trials and difficulties will show how rooted we are in our belief in God and how much we trust Him. “But since they don’t have deep roots, they don’t last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God’s word” (Matthew 13:21). When we are committed and determined to live our lives following God, we should expect that we will be persecuted. “Everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12). Despite the difficulties Christians in Thessalonica are going through because of their faith, Paul commended them for they have provided an example of perseverance to other believers. “As a result, you have become an example to all the believers in Greece—throughout both Macedonia and Achaia” (1 Thessalonians 1:7). Their lives also had provided a witness of God’s faithfulness that there are those that are speaking about their faith in God. With no awareness, they became evangelists and missionaries because of their testimonies of faith. When trials come in the life of believers, they should not panic but welcome these trials for they will be used by God strengthening their faith. And when faith gets stronger, resolve to be totally committed to God will also be strengthened. They will be firmly grounded and will not be easily swayed by false teachings. This kind of commitment was the result of repentance and was started by a willingness to forsake idols “to serve the living and true God” (1 Thessalonians 1:9b).