Thank God for Christians who have had to endure tribulations, yet are still standing strong. God’s people experienced the fear of uncertainty, the pain of division, the sting of death, economic downturns, swings in membership and transitions in leadership. We have been troubled on every side, yet not distressed; perplexed but not in despair, persecuted, but not forsaken, cast down but not destroyed. Through it all, the good and the bad, the highs and the lows, we are still faithful to Christ and His church. And for that we say, “Thank you Lord.”
Paul tells the church in Thessalonica that he can boast about them to others because of their faith, love, and endurance. Churches can be known for a lot of things and do a lot of good works. But what we do is not as important as who we are. People will visit the church because of the history. They will attend because of the leadership. They will participate in activities because of the ministries. They may place their membership because of the preaching. But they will remain connected because we are a people of faith, a people of love and a people of perseverance. They will stay because we are a church of which God is proud.