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The Sudden Turn of Joy

In our journey with Christ we need the work of faith, the labor of love, the uppomano of hope, and the sudden turn of joy.


It’s a wonderful day and I’m really honored to be preaching on the first Sunday of the New Year it’s a great joy. I have a great text for us today—1 Thessalonians 1:2-6—and it’s a great encouragement text in the New Testament. As a matter of fact did you know the very first book of the New Testament is 1 Thessalonians? So here we have the first sentences of Saint Paul in letters that he wrote to the churches in the first century Christian church.

In this text Paul gives thanks for a group of ordinary people who lived in Thessaloniki. He is thankful for this people, and in this letter he thanks them for their faith. We find in this letter the four great words of the Christian’s relationship with Jesus Christ. Paul thanks them for their faith, their love, their hope, and their joy. These are key words to Saint Paul, he uses them a lot and he thanks the Thessalonians for those words, for those great ingredients of their own journey with Christ.

But Paul is a teacher too, so he not only thanks God for their faith, their love, their hope, and their joy but he adds a word to each one as a teacher and helps us really understand what those words mean.

(Read 1 Thessalonians 1:2-6)

Work of Faith

The Greek word for “work” is erg, it’s a word that’s come to our scientific vocabulary, because erg is a unit of energy. The work of faith, it’s basic because we would have no faith at all without the work of God. As Carl Barton loves to say, “The word and the work are inseparable in Jesus Christ.” You cannot separate what Jesus says, that’s why he cannot be treated just as a teacher. You cannot take away what Jesus says from what he did. Therefore, ...

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Earl Palmer is a writer and speaker for Earl Palmer Ministries, and author of Mastering the New Testament: 1, 2, 3 John and Revelation (W Publishing Group).

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