Title: "A Resilient Hope"
Text: 1 Thessalonians 2:1-12
For you yourselves know, brothers, that our coming to you was not in vain. But though we had already suffered and been shamefully treated at Philippi, as you know, we had boldness in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in the midst of much conflict. For our appeal does not spring from error or impurity or any attempt to deceive, but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts. For we never came with words of flattery, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed—God is witness. Nor did we seek glory from people, whether from you or from others, though we could have made demands as apostles of Christ. But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children. So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.
For you remember, brothers, our labor and toil: we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God. You are witnesses, and God also, how holy and righteous and blameless was our conduct toward you believers. For you know how, like a father with his children, we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory.
1. Paul seems to be defending his reputation in this passage. Why might he be doing this?
2. "Resilient hope dwells in reality." What are some of the realities that Paul is facing, according to 1 Thessalonians 2:1-3?
3. What are some of your difficult realities at this time? How might struggle and reality become "the oxygen for hope?"
4. "Resilient hope gives birth to integrity." What does integrity look like, according to 1 Thessalonians 2:3-6?
5. Which of these aspects of integrity are a challenge to you at this time? Or, where would you like to see growth in your life?
6. "Resilient hope leads to generosity." How do we see Paul's generosity in 1 Thessalonians 2:7-8?
7. "Paul had this generosity at the nadir of his life." How is this a challenge to us?
8. Generosity is more than fiscal. Where might you need to be more generous at this time in your life?
9. Paul was "approved by God" to be entrusted with the gospel (1 Thessalonians 2:4). How does this gospel truth change us and give us the power to have resilient hope?
10. What is your takeaway from this passage?