1 Thess. 2:14,20 – “For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews” V.20 “For ye are our glory and joy.”
A man was telling about his sister-in-law who was completely paralyzed. Yet she remained cheerful and often gave a glowing testimony to those who came to visit her. He said, “When you look at her, you can see God’s grace and glory shining through.” He spoke a real truth. We should be thankful when we enjoy good health and a comfortable life, but we must always remember that the Lord allows some of His children to endure affliction for their spiritual good and His glory.
The people of Thessalonica to whom Paul wrote his first epistle had been Christians for less than 6 months, and already they had endured severe persecution. But their trials had become a blessing to them. In fact, they had grown in grace and had already won many others to the Lord. Their testimony was so vibrant that Paul called these believers his “glory and joy.”
These experiences have often been repeated. In 1937 missionaries were forced out of Wallamo, Ethiopia, leaving the field with only 18 recently baptized converts and a few portions of Scripture in the language of the people. These new believers were cruelly persecuted, and some were martyred. But 5 years later, the missionaries returned to find that the 18 Christians had multiplied to 10,000! The glory of God’s grace had shone through!
Since this is true, don’t become discouraged when trials come into your life. This may be God’s way of performing spiritual wonders in and through you. He’s giving you the opportunity to be a shining example of what His grace can do.