7 Therefore, brothers and sisters, in all our distress and persecution we were encouraged about you because of your faith. 8 For now we really live, since you are standing firm in the Lord. 9 How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have in the presence of our God because of you? 10 Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you again and supply what is lacking in your faith. 1

11 Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus clear the way for us to come to you. 12 May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. 13 May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones. Thessalonians 2:7-13

So, the church is standing firm but they are lacking something in their faith. What could that be?

I think a key is in verse 11: LOVE.

We, of course, know what love is and we often practice it. There are times, though, however, that fellow believers test our limits. It would be dishonest of me to say that I go from one loving situation to another without any dislike and sometimes hatred in between. People annoy us. They have different ideas about life, politics, family, friends, relationships, and jobs. Fortunately, no two of us are alike. We don’t even agree with our spouses 100% of the time. If we don’t agree 100% of the time with the ones we love the most, just think of what others who have very different philosophies will do to us.

But, we must still love them. Sometimes, only God can help us love other people, because we can’t do it on our own. I doubt I’m alone in this regard. In fact, I know I’m not alone.

Perhaps, that’s the key to begin with. God knows how difficult that person is. He also knows how difficult we are. So, there might even be a chance that person is praying about you too.

We hear love being preached from the pulpit often, and there’s a reason for it: it’s difficult because we’re all so very different.

Only God can give us what we need to love people.

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