"We call to mind your work of faith, your labor of love, and your patience of hope..." (1 Th 1:3).
"To be, or not to be?" That was the question in Shakespeare's classic soliloquy, asked by brooding Hamlet as he contemplated suicide. But the nobler question for those of us who choose to live is, "What to be, or what not to be?" That's the real question.
Ours is a post modern world of faithless men, loveless women, and hopeless dupes galore. In a day when "anything goes" it would seem that everything has gone. But not really. For God is faithful, loving, and hopeful -- and now, even as in the day of Elijah, He has no less than seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal; those stalwart souls who -- like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego -- stand upright while everyone else bows before the golden idol.
And mark these men and women, for they not only stand up -- they stand out.
There is something about them that distinguishes them from the rest. They are doers of the word, and not talkers only. Paul commends those whose "work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope" sustain them in times when others are like feathers in the wind -- blown about by every whim and fancy.
"It is clear to us," he writes, "that God has put His hand on you for something special. For when the Message we preached came to you, it wasn't just words. Something happened to you. The Holy Spirit put steel in your convictions." (1 Thess.1:5, Message).
They had backbones made of metal!
"What to be, or what not to be?" Is this a question that has crossed your mind? How about being a man or woman upon whom God has placed His hand for something special; a doer of the word, and not a hearer only? How about being someone who is known for their work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope?
How about being someone who can stand up and stand out with God-given steel in your convictions? Now that would be something worth being indeed!