Why do you do the things you do? There are lots of answers. “I work to support my family.” “I play golf because it’s relaxing.” “I cook because it brings happiness to my family.” Most of what we do is for some reason, even if it is wasting time just to relax a little. Much of what we do is to be productive, hoping that our effort will produce good results, making a positive difference in some way.
Many things we do are out of selfish motivations, doing things for our own interests, for what we can get out of it. Other things we do out of love, a response to what we have received. Paul describes the actions of the Thessalonian church in this way, “We remember your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope” (1 Thessalonians 1:3). Faith, love and hope where sources of motivation for this young church.
Faith produces work. When we believe in Jesus Christ, that He willingly died for our sins so that we may be forgiven and blessed with eternal life, we will live a godly life, which can be summed up in a single word, “work.” Jesus said, “If you love me, you will obey me.” If we truly believe, our actions will be more godly every day. The more we believe that Jesus is true and right, the more we will learn from Him and imitate him.
Labor is prompted by love. Labor goes beyond work to mean intense work with trouble and toil. Love will drive us to give all the effort we have to help someone in a time of need. We willingly sacrifice greatly for those we love. What will a husband do for his wife? What will a mother do for a child? They will willingly give all they have for them. We should love Jesus so much that we are willingly labor for His cause, giving our all for the salvation of the world,
Endurance is inspired by hope. We continue to live for God because we have the hope of eternal life. We know that what lies ahead is worth enduring the challenges of living for God today. There will be those who ridicule us, there will be times when it would be easier to forsake God, but we walk faithfully because we know how wonderful eternity will be.
Let your faith produce a godly life. Let the love of God prompt you to give your all for Him. Let the hope of eternity encourage you to endure every trouble.