In his first letter to the Thessalonians, Paul begins with words of affection for his readers and acknowledgment that they have received the gospel with power. He knows they will face some persecution from their countrymen, even as did those believers in Judea. He longs to see them, but in the meantime, he has sent Timothy to them. He encourages them to continue to walk faithfully.
Also, the Thessalonians are to remember that the Lord will return and bring all his people to be with him. They are to be encouraged by this reality. They do not know when he will return, but they are to live as if he will come soon. Until he comes, they are to continue rejoicing and looking forward to that day with hope: “For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him” (5:9,10). In a world filled with evil and sickness and death, how great a hope we have in Jesus!
Blessed are those whom the Lord finds watching,
In His glory they shall share;
If He shall come at the dawn or midnight,
Will He find us watching there?
O can we say we are ready, brother?
Ready for the soul’s bright home?
Say, will He find you and me still watching,
Waiting, watching when the Lord shall come? --Fanny Crosby