Grace to You and Peace [1 Thessalonians 1]
1Paul and Silvanus and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace.
2We give thanks to God always for all of you, making mention of you in our prayers; 3constantly bearing in mind your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the presence of our God and Father, 4knowing, brethren beloved by God, His choice of you; 5for our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. 6You also became imitators of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit, 7so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. 8For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith toward God has gone forth, so that we have no need to say anything. 9For they themselves report about us what kind of a reception we had with you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God, 10and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come.
Another letter from Paul to a new church. If you remember from Acts 17 Paul and Silas traveled to Thessalonica after the jail incident in Philippi. Paul proclaimed Jesus as the Messiah in the Jewish synagogue where some where persuaded, "including a great number of God-fearing Greeks as well as a number of the leading women." (Acts 17:4, Holman CSB) They weren't there long before they were run out of town. but a church was left behind. This was a group of people that Paul constantly remembered in his prayers. They had "received the word in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia."
What a reception! They received the gospel eagerly and their faith was being talked about all through the region. They "turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come."
May we, also, welcome the message with the joy of the Holy Spirit today and wait for His Son who rescues us from the coming wrath.