You became imitators of us and of the Lord; in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.

1 Thessalonians 1:6

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

Many of us find it easy to let our circumstances determine our moods. Paul is addressing a group of new Christians in Thessalonica who had been under attack from the beginning of their Christian lives (Acts 17:5-9). Yet Paul reminded these believers that their new life in Christ had brought them joy despite their outwardly harsh circumstances. Their joy was not a fleeting, circumstance-determined veneer. Instead, they welcomed the powerful message of salvation with joy despite “severe suffering.” Their joy was not dependent upon their earthly circumstances. Instead, they rooted their joy in their Savior’s example, his abiding presence through the Holy Spirit, and his promised salvation.

My Prayer…

Dear heavenly Father, please make my joy immune to outward circumstances. Please empower that joy through your Holy Spirit abiding in me. Please bless and empower me as I seek to conform my life and attitude to the example of my Savior. Please help me become a better example of spiritual joy to those around me. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House.