by Heather Tietz
Remembering without ceasing your work of faith and labor of love and perseverance of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, before our God and Father.
1 Thessalonians 1:3
Some people bloom, and bloom vibrantly, even in spite of thorny childhoods.
One of America’s strongest media personalities is a woman who suffered through her childhood, enduring abuse and molestation.
But instead of remaining weak, instead of hiding from the world, Oprah Winfrey has become a strong advocate for women and children through her television show, her books, her charities, and her donations. Suffering has empowered her.
The church of Thessalonica was very young when Paul wrote them in 1 Thessalonians. Though they were the youngest of the new Christian churches, they were maturing as though they’d been established for years.
They were such a fragrant aroma that churches as far as Macedonia knew about them. Unlike any of their older brother and sister churches, they were blooming in a city hostile to Christians.
Persecution can do that. Troubles too. Difficulties can make us sturdier, pushing towards prayer and trust – pushing us nearer to Jesus.
Troubles like divorce, deaths, health concerns, housing issues, and family crises cause us to look to Jesus. In turn, others watch.
A persevering faith has a far-reaching aroma, as long as we remain close to Jesus: the source of our hope and perseverance.
Please give me strong faith that I can face anything and everything that happens, as long as You are with me.
In Christs’ Name, I pray, Amen.