Hope For The Suffering

The young church in Thessalonica is enduring significant affliction and persecution for their faith in Christ. And in their communication with Paul, Silvanus and Timothy, they ask, why are they having to suffer so much? Why doesn't God stop their persecution? Paul and his companions respond that God has good purposes even in their unjust suffering and they share with them the hope of Heaven.

  1. Have you ever been mistreated for your faith in Christ? If yes, how so? And how did you respond to such treatment? How did that experience effect your faith?
  2. How does Paul encourage this church in the midst of their suffering? What should they hope in?
  3. Why does God desire to see us sanctified while we live on earth?
  4. Hope does faith in Christ and the hope of justice and Heaven enable us to live radically different? See also Hebrews 10:32-35. 
  5. How can you cultivate hope now?
  6. Beyond relief, what should we be praying for when we do suffer for his Name's sake?