When we see a pastor and church members being arrested for proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ, that is an example of faith that is truly alive and active. This was the kind of faith that was being lived out by the Thessalonians ‚Äď in action, and not just intellectually ‚Äď even though the world was trying to shut it down; and Paul was thankful to see this living faith in them, which was enduring persecution. They believed that Jesus died for the forgiveness of their sins, and they lived their lives imitating that love in their relationships with one another. Thy had joy, even in the midst of their afflictions; and their faith was a great example to the people in the surrounding countryside.
The example of the Thessalonians raises some good questions that we would do well to ask ourselves. Do we spend time praying for our fellow-Christians, like they did? Are we longing to hear from the Lord and His Word, as they were? Does God's Word produce joy in us, as it did in them? Or is there some idol that we are holding on to in our lives, which is keeping us from finding this joy? And last but not least, as the world continually tries to crush God's people, are we ready to face times of testing and trial for the sake of our Lord Jesus?