1 Thesslonians 1:3 says, “We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Work by faith.
Labor by love.
Endurance by hope.
Work, labor, and endurance. All words that when I see them, I think about sports.
Work. Hours a week. Your sport is like a job. It’s a business. You put in the hours. It’s not easy. But I have faith that all the work I put in will be worth it in the end. (Colossians 3:23-24)
Labor. As if the time commitment isn’t enough, it’s physically, mentally, and emotionally draining. But I have love for the game of softball, and I know that my labor is not in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:58)
Endurance. Work plus labor, over, and over, day in and day out. When you struggle, you have no choice but to push harder. Because I have a hope that my team will press on to win our prize and get a regional bid. (Philippians 3:14)
When I read the above verse in my daily reading, I thought of its context. The disciples that were called to ministry right after Jesus died worked, labored, and endured for the gospel of Jesus Christ. That’s awesome.
1 Corinthians 13:13 says, “But these three remain, faith, hope, and love…”
We may not feel that we have any work left in us. Any labor, nor any endurance. But our faith, our hope, and our love remain and are renewed in Christ day-by-day!
This reminds me of my favorite verse, Colossians 3:23, which says “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.” It is important to note that in the verse that follows, it clarifies, “It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”
Let’s put our work, our labor, and our endurance, which we have learned through sports and other areas of life, focused on the One who we serve. When we do this, we have the faith and hope of encountering Jesus while fully experiencing his great and unconditional love.