Sometimes we are not confident about who we are or what we are doing. These times may come when we are young and trying to find our path in life. Uncertainty may come when our beliefs change, given new experiences and new information. We may lose our confidence when we are met with opposition. In these times when we are hesitant and questioning, we need to receive encouragement and support from others. We need affirmation that our skills and decisions are aligned with who we want to be.
The young church at Thessalonica needed affirmation also. They were surrounded by people who worshipped other gods, including the emperor, which meant that the young church faced opposition, ridicule and persecution. Paul, who also experienced persecution because of his faith in Christ Jesus, began his letter to the Thessalonians with words of support and encouragement, reminding them that they were chosen by God, that they became an example to all the believers in the surrounding area, and how they served a living and true God.
As sisters and brothers in Christ Jesus, we are called to help one another recognize the gifts we have, give encouragement, and reinforce the hope and faith that guides our lives.
Help us, O God, to give words of support and encouragement. Amen. — DB