Season 8 Sweet Selah Moments Podcast, Sweet Selah Moments Podcast

Episode 112 – Enduring Hope – 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10

Season 8 Sweet Selah Moments Podcast
Season 8 Sweet Selah Moments Podcast
Episode 112 - Enduring Hope - 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10


Nicole and Sharon talk about endurance, today, and the wonderful gift Christians have in the sure hope of the gospel. Join them as they ponder Paul’s words to a tiny, threatened, but persevering church living out their faith in a hard place. You might find yourself enduring with more hope as you listen!

Read the transcript for Enduring Hope-Episode 112

Speaker 1 (00:02):

It is time for a pause in your day. Welcome to a podcast where we press the pause button on our busy lives for a few moments, and we focus on God’s word With Sharon and Nicole. We pray this is a time of refreshing for you. The Sweet Selah Moments Podcast is a cooperative production of Word Radio and Sweet Selah Ministries.

Nicole (00:29):

Welcome to the Sweet Selah Moments Podcast. This is episode 112, Enduring Hope. We are just starting a new series this fall called Living Wisely in Troubled Times. We’re going to be looking at two letters Paul wrote to the Thessalonians, and learning from these letters how to live in our own troubled times. Sharon, why did you choose Enduring Hope as a title?

Sharon (00:51):

Oh, Nicole, it was hard to choose a title. There are so many good verses in the first chapter of 1 Thessalonians, but the one verse that resonated with me the most was verse three. Paul is so encouraging to this baby church. Listen to what he says. He says, as we pray to our God and Father about you, we think of your faithful work, your loving deeds, and the enduring hope you have because of our Lord Jesus Christ. Well, we’re gonna dig into that verse more in just a minute, but for now, I just want to talk about that enduring hope. It hit me hard because we just studied last week what they did have to endure. Jason, barely saved when he and his friends are hauled out of his home and popped in prison simply because they were Christians, and then they had to pay money to get out. Financially there was a cost too. Their faith was so new and so tender, and yet, despite all the troubles they had enduring hope. Enduring hope. They knew that a brighter day was coming and they had a Savior waiting for them at their journey’s end here on Earth. I wanna live like that, Nicole, with enduring hope.

Nicole (01:55):

Yeah. So do I. Well, let’s look a bit at the book of 1 Thessalonians for a minute before we dive into chapter one. So I did some research on it, and Paul wrote this first letter to the Thessalonian Church from the city of Corinth around AD 51. And it was just a few months after having preached in Thessalonica on his second missionary journey. So he said he had to move on quite a bit. (Sharon: Yeah) So he probably had more to say. It was like, Hey, let me get this penned down and send it off to you guys. (Exactly).

Sharon (02:23):

Yeah. And note that he didn’t stay in Berea either then. We talked last week, Thessalonica, Berea, said he was in Corinth (Nicole: Yes) when he wrote this. Okay, cool.

Nicole (02:30):

He was always on the move.

Sharon (02:32):

He was indeed. And I love how he doesn’t forget where he’s been. (NIcole: Yeah). Isn’t that sweet?

Nicole (02:36):

Oh, that is true. He’s at the next place, but he’s not like, okay, they’re good. We’re done. Check it off my list.

Sharon (02:41):

Nope. Nope. He’s a little mama that’s gathering people at every place, and then has to check on his chickadees.

Nicole (02:44):

He has a big heart.

Sharon (02:46):

I love it. Well, thank you. Okie dokie. Let’s begin. We are gonna read chapter one, all 10 verses, and then we’re gonna go back and chat about each one. And I’ll start with verse one, verse one. Verse 1, “This letter is from Paul, Silas and Timothy. We are writing to the church at Thessalonica to you who belong to God, the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. May God give you grace and peace”

Nicole (03:12):

“We always thank God for all of you, and pray for you constantly.”

Sharon (03:16):

“As we pray to our God and Father about you we think of your faithful work, your loving deeds, and the enduring hope you have because of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Nicole (03:25):

“We know dear brothers and sisters that God loves you and has chosen you to be his own people.”

Sharon (03:30):

“For when we brought you the good news, it was not only with words, but also with power for the Holy Spirit gave you full assurance that what we said was true, and you know of our concern for you from the way we lived when we were with you.:

Nicole (03:43):

So you received the message with joy from the Holy Spirit in spite of the severe suffering it brought you in this way. You imitated both us and the Lord.”

Sharon (03:52):

“As a result you have become an example to all the believers in Greece, throughout both Macedonia and Achaia.”

Nicole (03:59):

“And now the word of the Lord is ringing out from you to people everywhere, even beyond Macedonia and Achaia. For wherever we go, we find people telling us about your faith in God. We don’t need to tell them about it,”

Sharon (04:12):

“But they keep talking about the wonderful welcome you gave us and how you turned away from idols to serve the living and true God.”

Nicole (04:21):

“And they speak of how you are looking forward to the coming of God’s son from heaven, Jesus, whom God raised from the dead. He’s the one who has rescued us from the terrors of the coming judgment.”

Sharon (04:32):

This is such a lovely dear first chapter. He loved those guys so much. All right, well, we’re gonna talk through each of those 10 verses together. And I get to dissect verse one. I’m gonna read that verse again. “This letter is from Paul, Silas and Timothy, we are writing to the church in Thessalonica to you who belong to God, the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. May God give you grace and peace.” So I noticed three things about this verse. First of all, I love that Paul is not a loner. He’s not doing this stuff alone. He, he was with Barnabas and he was with Silas. Now he’s got Timothy with him as well. (Nicole: Yeah) Paul always surrounded himself with other people. And Jesus, when he sent out the disciples for their little missions trip when he was living on the planet here, sent them out two by two.

Nicole (05:20):

Oh, that’s right. Yeah.

Sharon (05:21):

Yeah. God wants us in community. He does. That’s why I love working with the team in our own Sweet Selah Ministry. And that’s why whenever I speak, I’m begging one of you to go with me. I don’t wanna be alone. (Nicole: Yeah) I just don’t. And neither did Paul. So that’s number one. Number two, I just love the word ‘belong’, to you who belong to God in Jesus. He’s talking to those who have become part of God’s family and can never un-become it. (Oh, that’s so nice). They’re the ones who belong. And I just think it’s so beautiful. And then grace and peace is something that Paul says often. (Mmm) And we talked about grace and peace, one of our talks a while back. (Yeah) And I remember saying, I’m gonna incorporate that into my life.(Yes) I have. (Oh, good) Just saying. It’s a weird way. Facebook birthday greetings? (Oh) I always say grace and peace to you on your birthday and always.

Nicole (06:17):

Oh, that’s a fun birthday greeting.

Sharon (06:18):

Isn’t that nice?

Nicole (06:19):

I think I’ve only used it three times. I’ve tried to like, ease it into casual conversation. It’s, it’s not easy.

Sharon (06:24):

Well, yeah. It’s strange. But, but wishing someone grace, undeserved, pardon?

Nicole (06:29):


Sharon (06:29):

And, and Shalom peace. That wholeness peace.

Nicole (06:32):

A great birthday wish.

Sharon (06:33):


Nicole (06:34):

I’ll have to steal that.

Sharon (06:35):

Anyways, that’s verse one.

Nicole (06:37):

I like it. So verse two says, “We always thank God for all of you and pray for you constantly.” So Paul’s heart is so sweet here. I love that. I love the community about them praying constantly and thanking God for them. (Sharon: Yes) And isn’t that how we should be acting as believers in Christ? (Mm-hmm) I don’t pray for other churches or thank God for them. You know, I don’t think about that. (Yeah. Yeah) But they are not competing with these other churches for who can do the most work for God, or our church is better. I love the sense of community. Like we are all believers, all one group in different sections.

Sharon (07:13):

I love that too. It’s a beautiful way to be.

Nicole (07:16):

We should really work on this as believers in America.

Sharon (07:18):


Nicole (07:19):

Myself included.

Sharon (07:23):

My brother’s church always prays for a fellow church as part of their, (Nicole: Oh, really?) they have a big long prayer time and they pray for people that are sick and pray for a ministry and a mission, and they pray for another church.

Nicole (07:32):

I love that.

Sharon (07:33):

Isn’t that beautiful?

Nicole (07:33):

I’ve never thought about that before. And that’s terrible.

Sharon (07:35):

I bet he did it ’cause of 1 Thessalonians. I’ll have to ask him.

Nicole (07:39):

You’ll have to. But that’s super. But I love how they’re doing that. That’s really neat.

Sharon (07:41):

So cool. Um, verse three, “As we pray to our God and Father about you, we think of your faithful work, your loving deeds and the enduring hope you have because of our Lord Jesus Christ.” So Paul is pulling a Barnabas here. He’s encouraging, he’s encouraging so much. This is, we are not just praying for you to do well. We’re thanking God for you. Because you work faithfully. So they haven’t given up. They’re faithful in their work. And part of that is loving deeds for others. And loving deeds is work, Nicole. (Yes. It is) You know, going and washing somebody else’s laundry ’cause they just had surgery. That’s not what I call fun. It’s work. But it’s important work. You know, and good old Dorcas that sewed all those garments. That was work. But loving deeds, he’s seeing that in them. Um, it’s not just entertainment on a Sunday morning for us. We’re supposed to have faithful work. We’re supposed to have, um, loving deeds. And then that beautiful enduring hope, which they certainly have demonstrated. Cause otherwise they wouldn’t still be Christians after what they’ve been put through. (Right) Yeah. (No kidding) It’s a great verse.

Nicole (08:44):

All right. Verse four, “We know, dear brothers and sisters, that God loves you and has chosen you to be his own people.” So this verse I think has a beautiful reassurance in it for them. (Sharon: Yeah, yeah) Just a reminder like, and that security too, that God loves you and he chose you. And then to kind of instill the sense of belonging in them too. (I love that) Like, you are God’s. You’re not my new little Christians. You’re not, you belong to God. So he’s always gonna be with them, even if Paul isn’t there, you know, (Yes) as a founding person of the church. So I think, I just think it’s a nice, reassuring verse.

Sharon (09:18):

I think that’s awesome. And I like your point that Paul isn’t the hero. God is. (Right) God’s the one they belong to. God’s the one that chose them. And, you know, these are things we need to be reminded of. You know, and if enough people tell me I’m annoying, or downright irritating, you know, I can forget that, well, God loves me, he chose me.

Nicole (09:40):

Right. Oh.

Sharon (09:40):

Sometimes we, we need to be reminded. And what a beautiful reminder. So, you know, they’re, they’re reading this letter and all they’re hearing at this first part is you are loved, you’re doing great. I pray for you all the time. You are that important to me.

Nicole (09:57):


Sharon (09:59):

It’s beautiful.

Nicole (09:59):

It’s a great beginning. What a great encouraging, sweet—

Sharon (10:01):


Nicole (10:01):

Like, Hey guys, you’re doing wonderful.

Sharon (10:03):

Yeah. Yeah. And by the way, we love you.

Nicole (10:05):


Sharon (10:05):

So nice. I would like letters like that. That’s really nice. So moving on, verse five, “For when we brought you the good news, it was not only with words, but also with power. For the Holy Spirit gave you full assurance that what we said was true and you know, of our concern for you from the way we lived when we were with you.” So I love that he points out that it’s not just saying the words, it’s the Holy Spirit coming within. And we actually talked about that, how Jason and fellow believers in prison coughing up a lot of money to get out.

Nicole (10:39):


Sharon (10:40):

If they hadn’t had the Holy Spirit indwelling within them with full power. At the very beginning of their Christian life, before they were experts in anything. ( They could not have stood firm. You know, but they did because of the Holy Spirit. And that is just such a so cool thing. And then, um, he has concern for them in how they lived when they were with them. That’s said really poorly. Paul wanted them to remind them that we were concerned about you when we were with you. And we showed our concern by how we lived. We didn’t lord it over you. We didn’t demand obedience to us. We just loved on you.

Nicole (11:22):

They lived out their concern and love for them, like working alongside them instead of over them, you know?

Sharon (11:26):

Yeah, exactly. And that’s, and, and even the follow up with the letter is more proof of how much he cares for them. And that’s the same as it is in friendship. In friendship, you gotta show up. You can’t always show up big if you’re going through something yourself. But there better be a little show up or the friendship will drift away. So Paul’s still showing up for them.

Nicole (11:48):

Well, verse six says, “So you received the message with joy from the Holy Spirit, in spite of the severe suffering it brought you in this way. You imitated both us and the Lord.” So I see that encouragement in this verse. You know, he’s reminding them that they are not alone. The Holy Spirit is with them. And that also they’re not alone in their suffering. That Paul and his friends also have suffered for Christ. And then ultimately the Lord suffered (Yes) And died for them. So just that, that encouragement that they’re not alone in their suffering. And they understand, from a place of We’ve lived it out too.

Sharon (12:24):

Right, right. Yeah. I was just thinking, can you imagine a sermon, you know, a gospel message, sermon in America, you will suffer severely if you accept Christ, you will be persecuted, you’ll be thrown into prison, you will lose your money. But he’s the truth. We don’t do that too often. But Paul had to. (Yeah) I mean, it’s like, (It was the reality) What I’m inviting you to is, is um, banking everything on the fact that this is true and that eternity awaits you because you choose suffering now.

Nicole (12:57):

Yeah. And the chance that you are going to lose everything fairly quickly after converting .

Sharon (13:02):

Yeah. Yeah. So, cool. Amazing. Okay. Verse seven, “as a result of the fact that they did all these wonderful things, despite suffering, you’ve become an example to all the believers in Greece, throughout both Macedonia and Achaia.” So Wow. The word spread through their suffering, the fact that they held on, that’s what stood out. You know, sometimes God does allow suffering for good. Yes. I don’t think Joni Erickson Tada said, oh, sign me up at age 18 to break my neck and be in a wheelchair for the rest of my life, because that’s how I’d like to live for you.

Nicole (13:38):

That’s how I wanna glorify you God.

Sharon (13:39):


Nicole (13:39):

From a wheelchair.

Sharon (13:40):

No kidding. And yet God chose that path for her. And out of it has come such an incredible testimony of staying with the truth, enduring hope, um, throughout her life. She’s just one of my heroes of the faith because of that. So, it’s just really cool that sometimes our best example isn’t, look at me, my life is all happy. It’s actually through how we deal with suffering.

Nicole (14:07):

Oh, absolutely. Um, so verse eight, it’s fairly similar, but, “And now the word of the Lord is ringing out from you to people everywhere, even beyond Macedonia and Achaia, for wherever we go, we find people telling us about your faith in God. We don’t need to tell them about it.”

Sharon (14:23):

Isn’t that wild?

Nicole (14:24):

How cool. So it’s not just they were, they were faithful in suffering and that could have been enough but then the people in their town knew that they were faithful in their suffering. People outside their town are hearing about this. Like, what an impact. And I think it’s so encouraging for them to know, to see the work of God through them now. Because sometimes we’ll suffer and we work for God and we don’t see the fruits of it in this life. And for them to, for God to allow them to see it now, so soon after becoming Christians and, and going through intense suffering, like what a beautiful gift to them.

Sharon (14:55):

Isn’t it? And they wouldn’t know unless Paul told them.

Nicole (14:58):

They’re in prison.

Sharon (15:00):


Nicole (15:00):

Read the local news. They had no idea that people knew about their story.

Sharon (15:03):

Yeah. Yeah.

Nicole (15:03):

So I just think that’s so neat that they were able to hear about how God was working through them already.

Sharon (15:08):

Isn’t that cool? And it must have been merchants that travel and, you know.

Nicole (15:12):

Yeah. Like how did the word get out?

Sharon (15:13):

Yeah. Yeah. It’s not like there’s podcasts back then.

Nicole (15:17):

Right. Maybe it was such a big deal that these people, their neighbors were just doing their life and all of a sudden, they heard about this Jesus and followed him and then they were taken from their homes. I guess that would be rather a big story. It’s like, oh, did you hear about Jason? Did you hear about so-and-so?

Sharon (15:30):

Yeah. Yeah. And then it spread.

Nicole (15:31):

Yeah. Very neat.

Sharon (15:31):

Super, super, neat. Okay. Verse nine, “For they keep talking about the wonderful welcome you gave us and how you turned away from idols to serve the living and true God.”

Nicole (15:41):

Ah, so there it is too.

Sharon (15:42):

There it is again. So, but Paul comes to another place because he is been kicked out of the last one,. And they say, have you heard about what happened at Thessalonica? And Paul’s like, just might have, I was there. Right. So there was true change in them. Basically they turned away from idols to serve the living and true God. Repentance means ‘to turn away from’, that’s actually the meaning of it. It’s not just, you know, oh, sorry, didn’t mean to And then doing the same thing over and over and over and over and over again. ’cause you don’t actually really care. You’re just saying you’re sorry. Repentance is turning from. They did, they stopped going to temple. They stopped worshiping the idols. They threw their idols out, um, to go against your culture and all your habits like that. That was all they were steeped in the Greeks, and and they’ve gone against so many traditions and cultures in order to believe the truth.

Nicole (16:34):

And their change was so significant that many, many, many people noticed.

Sharon (16:37):

Yes. Yes. Yes.

Nicole (16:38):

Amazing. All right. Verse 10 says, “And they speak of how you are looking forward to the coming of God’s Son from heaven, Jesus whom God raised from the dead. He is the one who has rescued us from the terrors of the coming judgment. So here he’s just, again, he keeps commending them for their faith. (He does) And they’re like, guys, you’re doing great. They’re talking about this and that and that you’re looking forward. And also, I think there’s hope in here too. He’s kind of reminding them, you know, like, looking forward to the coming of God’s own Son. And he’s already rescued us from even worse terrors. So. That’s a nice verse to end on.

Sharon (17:12):

I think it is. I do. And it’s, it’s for the joy set before us that we endure the suffering here. And that’s what he’s saying. You are looking forward to the coming of God’s Son from heaven. Who also as Spirit resides inside them, who they know full well now. So the longing is there for them too. So cool.

Nicole (17:32):

Yeah. Cause you can’t endure all this without getting discouraged. Even if you are full of the Spirit, you could get weary of the suffering. But to continually keep that hope before you.

Sharon (17:40):

That enduring hope?

Nicole (17:41):

Is what, yes, is what keeps them going for sure. And us.

Sharon (17:42):

Exactly. Exactly. So, okay. So we’re gonna do a pattern in these, Fall Studies. We, will walk through the verses like we just did. And then we’re gonna end with the same three questions every single time. What was my favorite verse and why? That’s question number one. Question number two, what did I learn about God from this passage? And number three, what did we learn about living wisely in troubled times? Which is the name of our series.

Nicole (18:09):

Yes. Alright. Cool.

Sharon (18:11):

Okay. Nicole, what was your favorite verse and why?

Nicole (18:14):

Ooh. I really liked verse six and I’ll read it again. It says, “So you received the message with joy from the Holy Spirit. In spite of the severe suffering it brought you. In this way you imitated both us and the Lord.” So I just think that’s so neat. They received the Holy Spirit with this joy. They were so excited to hear his message. And then it’s so beautiful how they fully embraced their new faith and completely relied on God from the very beginning in their troubles. There was no turning back for them.

Sharon (18:43):


Nicole (18:43):

And their faith is just very inspiring to me. Like, would I do that now? I’ve been a Christian for many years. Am I as willing to put my whole hearted faith in Christ? If I was dragged outta my house tomorrow and put in prison?

Sharon (18:57):

I know.

Nicole (18:57):

Would I be as faithful as them so soon?

Sharon (18:58):

So soon.

Nicole (18:59):

It’s a little,

Sharon (19:01):

It’s a little intimidating.

Nicole (19:02):

I don’t want to ask myself that question, but it’s a question I need to sit with and like, do I have the faith of these early believers in such hard times?

Sharon (19:08):

Yeah. Yeah. And it really does sort of negate the, the strand of Christianity that says everything will be well if you receive Jesus in this life and in the life beyond. Ah, no. No. Not necessarily.

Nicole (19:22):


Sharon (19:23):

So this is funny ’cause we did not talk about our favorite verses.

Nicole (19:25):

No. Did you pick that one too?

Sharon (19:27):

I did. I wonder how many times this fall? Let’s keep doing it this way (Nicole: This is so fun.) ’cause this is funny. I didn’t choose verse three ’cause I’d already talked about verse three, the enduring hope. You know, I chose verse six and it was actually the word joy from it. He received the message with joy in spite of suffering. The fact that, um, in the midst of suffering there can be joy. And that is such a cool thing. And I can remember way, way back, I had, um, a pastor’s wife who mentored me and her husband at one point had been put in prison for stealing money. And she looked at me and she said, Sharon, this is hard to imagine if you haven’t been through it. I was devastated, I was shamed, I was all these things. But running through it all was a joy. Because God was going to husband me. He was gonna take care of my kids. And I knew I wasn’t alone.

Nicole (20:22):

That’s amazing.

Sharon (20:23):

I know.

Nicole (20:24):

We can’t, you can’t make that up.

Sharon (20:26):

No. No.

Nicole (20:27):

There’s no way.

Sharon (20:27):

The kind of joy that God gives is not based on circumstance. It’s on the Sure Knowing that He lives within us. So.

Nicole (20:34):

That’s amazing.

Sharon (20:35):

It’s a great verse. Obviously. We both chose it.

Nicole (20:37):

There’s a lot in that. And I love that there’s different parts of it we love.

Sharon (20:40):

I know. It’s so much fun. So, okay, well what did we learn about God from this passage? What are some of your thoughts on that?

Nicole (20:46):

I feel like through all this, I just was reminded that God doesn’t abandon us. No. He doesn’t like, oh you’re my child. Good luck. See you in heaven. Like he’s there with us in our suffering. (Sharon: Yes) And in our trials and in our joy. And that our hope can very safely rest in him. ‘Cause that’s the only place we can hope on. (Yes) Everything else could be ripped away tomorrow. But God will always be with us.

Sharon (21:07):

I love that. I love that. And I, I chose things like God loves and chooses people.

Nicole (21:13):

Oh yeah.

Sharon (21:14):

Which is such a cool thing. The belonging thing I thought was so key. (NIcole: Yeah) He wants us to join his flock. He wants us to belong to him. It’s not like we’re exclusive, it’s open to the world. (Yes) God so loved the world. Um, but when we choose him, um, then he chooses us. And it’s sort of choices everywhere. And we’re a part of his flock. So I love that. And then, um, also that God does not prevent us from suffering. It’s actually almost expected.

Nicole (21:41):

Right. And we have to remember that.

Sharon (21:43):


Nicole (21:43):

So we’re not surprised and, What have I done wrong God?

Sharon (21:44):

Right. Yeah. Do you know what? That is, that’s what Satan does to us. He accuses us. You’re suffering because you did this or you didn’t do that. When in reality people suffer. People suffer with God and without God, suffering happens.

Nicole (21:59):

Yes. Well that was even in that passage from Isaiah, we had read, I think that was last week though. But when it talked about people thought that Jesus was suffering because of the sin he had committed.

Sharon (22:07):

And it wasn’t his own sin.

Nicole (22:08):

It wasn’t his sins. Suffering doesn’t always come from sin.

Sharon (22:13):

Exactly so.

Nicole (22:13):

And it’s hard to remember, but a very important point.

Sharon (22:16):

It is. It is. And we just need to receive it. And then the other thing is just basically from verse six, that the Spirit can give us joy in suffering. Only God, only God can give us joy. Which kind of goes back to what you said, learning that God is always with us, so that no matter what we’re going through, he’s there. He doesn’t say, this is too painful. I need to walk away.

Nicole (22:35):

Right. I need a break from this.

Sharon (22:37):

I need a break. Because there are times when I’m dealing with somebody that’s in bad trauma. (Nicole: Yeah) Where it is too painful. I need to walk away for a bit (Yes) in my humanness.

Nicole (22:46):

And we’re limited. Yeah. For sure.

Sharon (22:48):

Right. God never walks away. Ah. So good!

Nicole (22:51):

Thank you Lord.

Sharon (22:51):

Yeah. Alright. So what did we learn about living wisely in troubled times? What did you learn about that?

Nicole (22:59):

So I was thinking that for me it would be to hold fast to my faith and remember God’s words to us and what he has done in the past for us. I think remembering is really helpful for me if I am going through a hard time. Like, well, I’ve gone through hard times before and God is with me. So just remembering that he’s not going to abandon me, you know, and trust that, trust that he’s doing work through the suffering.

Sharon (23:22):

That’s the other thing. That it’s not wasted. Like with our Thessalonians Their suffering produced awe and joy among Christians everywhere and, and enabled them to say, whoa, I didn’t suffer in the first two months of my faith. (Yeah) And look at what they’re going through. So.,

Nicole (23:39):

And they’re encouraging us even now. Which is really neat. (I know) Their suffering was not wasted. I love, Pastor Yves always says that, that God doesn’t waste our pain.

Sharon (23:47):

No, he doesn’t.

Nicole (23:47):

And that’s so precious to know that.

Sharon (23:49):

It is, it is. That there’s a purpose in it, even if we hate it. (Nicole: Yeah) And we’re allowed to lament it too. (Yes) Right. ’cause David in the Psalms is such a great example of that.

Nicole (23:59):


Sharon (23:59):

It’s like how long, oh Lord, how long?

Nicole (24:02):

Do I have to keep this suffering? But thanks for being with me. But how long?

Sharon (24:06):


Nicole (24:07):

Good ol’ David.

Sharon (24:08):

It’s simultaneous. It’s awesome. It is so awesome. Yeah. And we learn that suffering’s a witness to a world that watches not just the Christians, but also to non-Christians. (Yeah) If, if we receive what happens and don’t fall apart, or if we do fall apart, we fall into God’s lap. Right? Because again, I don’t want us to, I grew up a little bit thinking, and I don’t think it was my parents’ fault or the church’s fault. I think it was my own fault that I had to always kind of act like everything was happy and breezy. (Yeah) Whether it was or not. And no, we need to be truthful about the hard as well as the good. The first week after I lost my hearing and the hearing loss was total then like I could hear nothing, I cried all week.

Nicole (24:53):


Sharon (24:54):

And somebody said, I’m sorry you’re having a crisis of faith. And I’m like, um, I’m not. I’m just—

Nicole (25:00):

I’m just crying ’cause this is sad.

Sharon (25:02):


Nicole (25:02):

I don’t want to lose my hearing.

Sharon (25:04):

Yeah. Yeah. And it wasn’t sobbing. It was just like leaking. (Right) You know, I just leaked. It was my leak week. I would, I would try to, you know, the phone would ring and (Yeah) and Ray would say, the phone’s ringing, you know? And I’d be leaking tears, you know, that kind of thing.

Nicole (25:21):

You mourn each thing you lose, in the moment. Like, oh, I can’t hear this at the moment. There’s a process when you’re going through suffering.

Sharon (25:27):

Right. Right. And it is Okay. And it’s not a crisis of faith. You can simultaneously trust God.

Nicole (25:32):


Sharon (25:32):

And, and leak tears.

Nicole (25:33):

And leak away.

Sharon (25:33):

So another thing for living wisely in troubled times, we just need to remember that we need to receive the good and the bad from God’s hands. (Nicole: Yeah) Job was good at that. “Naked I came from the womb, naked I will return. The Lord giveth, the Lord taketh away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Absolutely)That is such a hard thing to say. (It is) And yet that is how we live wisely in troubled times. . It really is. So, and then I think also the praying, Paul did a lot about praying. We’re praying for you about this. We’re praising God about this. We need to pray constantly. And that’s sometimes hard if you’ve prayed and you’re not seeing the results. Right.

Nicole (26:17):

Yes. We get, I get so discouraged, so easily, like, oh, I didn’t pray right. It didn’t work. All right, fine. I won’t keep praying. Like it’s, we’re so easily, uh, (Sharon: Dissuaded) discouraged. (Exactly) It’s true. Yeah.

Sharon (26:28):

And yet we’re to still pray. We are, we’re supposed to be like that persistent widow that never stops knocking at the unjust judge’s door. And God says, if the unjust listen to her, he’s, I’m certainly gonna listen to you. He said, keep asking.

Nicole (26:41):

I’m a lot kinder then them.

Sharon (26:42):

Keep knocking. Keep seeking. So, um, so we do, and sometimes, you know, you’re praying and praying and God’s choosing to do something different than what you prayed for. Um, you, you pray and you say why? And you say, well, how should I pray then? Or what can, can I learn from this? Or what can these people learn? If you’re not gonna take away that cancer, Lord, bring good from it.

Nicole (27:04):

Then what else? Yeah. What is to learn in it then if you’re not gonna do what I’d hoped you’d do?

Sharon (27:08):

Yeah. But we…

Nicole (27:08):

Well, that brings us closer to him. (Sharon: Exactly) That’s where our relationship grows with him. (Exactly) And then we change too ’cause we don’t expect him to just be our genie.

Sharon (27:16):

Exactly. He is our constant companion. When things go smoothly and when they don’t. (Mm) And you know, your little, um, stopping three times a day is such a sweet way of remembering that. That even in the midst of, Hey, I prayed for an easy day and um,

Nicole (27:34):

What just happened?

Sharon (27:36):

This isn’t it. Right. Um, to still go to him and say, well, teach me then, Lord. (Yes) Teach me through it. What do you have for me? I feel like if I’ve asked I’ve done what I can do. (Right) He tells me to ask. I ask. And then if he gives me what I asked for, I’m like, whoa. Wow. Thanks. And if he doesn’t, I receive it. And I say, well, I asked you, you must have something better. Even though this is harder, you’ve still given this to me. And I leaked tears. Right.

Nicole (28:04):

Right. I receive it ’cause it still came from your hands.

Sharon (28:07):

Yeah. Yeah. And then the last thing that I found from this living wisely in troubled times, is we always need to look forward to what awaits us after death.

Nicole (28:15):

Oh yeah.

Sharon (28:15):

Because he pointed that out to them.

Nicole (28:17):

He did.

Sharon (28:17):

Yeah. Part of enduring hope is that it will not always be like this. And we need to remember that ’cause when we’re in the trenches it sometimes it can feel like it will always be like this.

Nicole (28:29):

It’s never ending. Right. And we can get discouraged. I think that’s so important. And I don’t remember that enough. And maybe it comes as we get older too, the remembering that the, that what our end will be with Christ. (Sharon: Yes) And if we have that hope, we pick up our eyes out of like, you know, we’re just taking one foot in front of the other. (Yes. Yes) But if you look up and see the finish line. (Right) And really live in that awareness of like, man, it’s going to be glorious. (Yes) It’s coming. (Yes) Have that enduring hope., keep your eyes on Jesus. and not the muck around you. And it’s a little bit easier.

Sharon (28:59):

It is a little bit easier. And apparently when we get there, uh, who is it for the joys…? No, it’s something that Paul said about these momentary struggles will be as nothing. . Paul, who’s been lashed and beaten and shipwrecked and whatever’s.

Nicole (29:14):

Kicked out of every town he’s ever been in.

Sharon (29:16):

Like these momentary troubles. So somehow everything that seems so sloggy and heavy?

Nicole (29:21):


Sharon (29:22):

Um, will, it’ll be worth it.

Nicole (29:24):

It pales in comparison to what.

Sharon (29:25):

Yeah. We’re gonna have tears wiped, we’re gonna have a joy beyond what we can possibly imagine. And it really is all gonna happen. Praise God.

Nicole (29:35):

Hmmm. Absolutely. That’s beautiful.

Sharon (29:35):

Yes. Okay, well, it’s time to pray. Oh, Father, thank you. Thank you that with suffering comes joy. Because you never leave us or forsake us. You are the one that doesn’t think it’s too hard to be with us in the middle of it. Father, I thank you that no matter how long we trudge your Spirit stays by our side. And I thank you, Father, that the ending is good. Give us enduring hope. Father, thank you for the witness of these young Thessalonian Christians that are still inspiring us today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Nicole (30:14):

Amen. We are so glad you are joining us on this journey. We’d love feedback. So write us, what was your favorite verse from 1 Thessalonians chapter one, tell us who you are and where you’re from. You can write us at Consider becoming a podcast partner. We could use some more monthly support, bigger, small, every little bit counts. We are a nonprofit ministry, so you can even count us as a tax deduction. We love our Podcast Partners and send out a monthly newsletter telling you all sorts of behind the scenes information as well as a peek at our own lives. And come back next week for episode 113, Sharing Christ Wisely. And let’s all endure in hope this week. Our God’s got us. We can totally trust him even in the middle of troubled times.

Speaker 1 (31:08):

We are so glad you stopped for a while with us. The Sweet Selah Moments Podcast is a cooperative production of Word Radio and Sweet Selah Ministries. More information about this podcast can be found Thank you for joining us.

You can download and print the transcript here.

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Episode 111 – Living Wisely in Troubled Times. Acts 17:1-15