2 We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers. 3 We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 1:2-3)
Love —-> labor
Hope —–> endurance
What is the distinction between “work” and “labor”? A quick look at Strongs suggests that “work” is about toil as in an occupation while “labor” suggests toil that tires or exhausts. So somewhat parallel but different words in Greek.
Brings to mind Paul’s conclusion in 1 Corinthians that faith, hope, and love remain.
These fruits of faith, hope, and love are mentioned in the context of Paul’s praying for them.
One of the things I see in the news and on Facebook a great deal is concern about food – its sources, its healthiness, how it was produced, etc. All food is not created equal is it? Nor it seems is human action.
It matters the origin of our deeds. What is the source of the work I do today? Does it flow from love and faith? It matters.
What about endurance? Do I endure out of sheer stubbornness (something I am quite good at doing) or does my endurance result from hope in Christ? It seems to matter, says Paul, where these actions have their source.
Our God and Father, may this day’s work spring from faith in you. May this day’s labor originate in love: your love for me but also mine for you. And may I endure whatever today and tomorrow bring in the way of trial because of the hope that is mine in Jesus Christ. Amen.