Scripture

1 Thessalonians 2:2 – You know how badly we had been treated at Philippi just before we came to you and how much we suffered there.  Yet our God gave us the courage to declare his Good News to you boldly in spite of great opposition.

Observation

Paul is sharing with the Church at Thessalonica the hardship, poor treatment and suffering they had experienced on their missionary stay in Philippi just before heading to plant the church at Thessalonica.  Paul and Silas did not pack their tent and head home.  They relied on the power of the Holy Spirit from God to give them courage to preach the Good News with boldness and encourage the believers in Thessalonica.  There was strong opposition to the Gospel in Thessalonica as well.

Application

How much suffering and opposition do I face when I share the gospel?  Up until now, minor opposition to sharing of the Good News in America.  As I reflect on trips I have been (In the US and abroad), places where there is opposition is where the Gospel is needed and where it is growing.  There is nothing I can do on my own to prepare or present the Gospel absent of the power of the Spirit to lead and guide.  Greater opposition means greater opportunity to trust God in courage to share the love of Christ to a fearful world looking for hope.  We have the hope and encouragement in Jesus!

Prayer

Father,

Thank you for your love for me.  Please let me trust you and have the power of the Holy Spirit give me courage to share the Good News boldly with a world that desperately needs your hope.