We’ve got your daily encouragement, written by Bruce Sampson. The Faith Workout of the Day is an updated version of the former Athlete Word of the Day.
1 Thessalonians 1:3
“… remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.”
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances.” This is a quote was written by Viktor Frankl, an Austrian professor of neurology and psychiatry, and also a Holocaust survivor.
In the 1940s, while he was in the Nazi concentration camps doing research on the prisoners, he discovered what he believed to be the reason some lived through intense suffering, what human life thrives on: hope.
When he would ask prisoners what they were looking forward to if they lived through it, they would respond with something like seeing a loved one again, listening to the sound of music, or hobbies they once did. He came across one person who believed that he would be set free on a particular day. When the day finally came around, he was in despair to find that his situation was the same. No more than a week later he died.
I know its a little extreme to mention the Holocaust, but I believed that we still have very valid reasons to feel despair today. What happens when our circumstance don’t align to the future we thought we would have? I can say that Biblical hope is different than optimism based on the odds or even choosing to see your circumstances working out for the best.
As Christians, we look forward by looking backwards. It’s our work unto faith, our labor unto love, our endurance inspired by hope. Our faith, love, and hope in who? Jesus Christ our Lord! Hope is a person. A Person who’s constant through the change, trustworthy through the trials. We can lean into Jesus because there’s a future secured in him. We look back to what he has finished on the cross to the future resurrected life he promises all of those who believe in his name to save them.
God, I will be the first to admit that the uncertainty of my future can sometimes overwhelm me. Despite my circumstances, help me to have a patient, enduring hope in Jesus. I look back to my sin left on the cross to a new life today because of what you have done for me. Thank you, God. Amen.
How do we find our hope in Jesus working out in our lives today? Well, read the rest of 1 Thessalonians today!
Paul celebrates over the enduring faith of the Christians of Thessalonica and how they should apply their faith to their sexual ethic, relational harmony, and work life. It’s a very short book so take your time and ask God for wisdom while you are reading.
If you don’t have a Bible, you can use this online resource: https://biblehub.com/niv/1_thessalonians/1.htm
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