Thessalonica was the capital city of the Roman province of Macedonia. The Apostle Paul has established a church there and in his first letter to them he gave thanks for three specific things: 1. their work produced by Faith; 2. their labour prompted by Love; 3. their endurance inspired by Hope. I have often read this letter in the Bible and reflected how easy it is to say these phrases but how hard and challenging they are to practice and live out.

Today I spoke to a precious lady who has been living with cancer and has recently been diagnosed with a secondary brain tumour in her brain. No treatment is possible and deteriorating symptoms are setting in. However, in the midst of this challenging prognosis she radiated peace that passeth understanding (Phil 4:7), Faith, Love and Hope. I believe that is only possible because, as a follower of Jesus, she has access to the Holy Spirit welling up in her like a spring that strengthens and feeds her soul.

I have been acutely aware this year that Faith, Love and Hope equip us to face the challenges of life and can be the game changers in the situations we face. The Apostle Paul tells us in 1Corinthians 13:13 – Now these three remain: faith, hope and love, three abiding priorities and enduring virtues of time and eternity.

May the fruit of our work be determined by how much we accomplish around us, but by how connected we are to God’s Spirit.