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Trinity Lutheran Church, White Lake, SD
Trinity Lutheran Church, White Lake, SD
  South Dakota
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September 2014 Pastor's letter
Dear Fellow Believers in Jesus,
Life without hope is one of the worst ways to live. People of all nations can live without hope. People of all ages can live without hope. After a while, those without hope can sink into deep depression and despair that things will ever get any better. If you do not have hope for the future, then every new day can be a struggle.
The new Christians in the city of Thessalonica were persecuted and struggling with their new faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul had been in Thessalonica for only a few months before being forced to leave the city because of the fierce opposition he faced there.
Paul wrote his first letter to the Thessalonian Christians to give them encouragement and hope. 1 Thessalonians 1 states, “We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our
Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 1:2–3 in ESV). Paul did not want those new Christians to give up hope. He tried to encourage them with a reminder that Paul and his fellow missionaries, Timothy and Silvanus, gave thanks to God on a regular basis for all the members of the church in Thessalonica. He wanted them to continue to do works prompted by faith in God. He wanted them to labor moved by God’s love for them each day. He especially wanted them to remain steadfast and firm in their hope in the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Christians in Thessalonica were being persecuted because of their hope in the Lord Jesus Christ. They were suffering because of the gospel message that Jesus had suffered, died, and arose to save them from their sins.
Paul had the heart of a pastor for these new Christians. He wrote to them about hope. This hope was not a wishful thinking kind of hope. This was a firm hope based on the gift of saving faith in Jesus Christ.
Maybe some of you are struggling in life right now. I encourage you to continue in hope. No matter how tough things might become. Steadfast hope in our Lord Jesus Christ will see you through every temptation to quit.

In Jesus Christ’s Service,
Pastor Richard Milbrandt

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