Immediately, Paul begins counting his blessings. What greater joy has the gospel minister than that of seeing his preaching bear fruit? Paul considers Thessalonica and he sees that in that place there exists: a church, faith producing works, labor prompted by love, and endurance inspired by hope.
Paul, though, is not the only one counting blessings. The believers in Thessalonica had many blessings to count. Paul reminds them that they have received a love rooted in eternity (“loved by God, that he has chosen you”), good news in the fullness of time (“our gospel came to you”), the Holy Spirit in power (“not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit”), and assurance from now on (“with full conviction”). It’s good, often, to pause and remember our many blessings in Christ.
“When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.” -- Johnson Oatman (1897)