2:12 We pleaded with you, encouraged you, and urged you to live your lives in a way that God would consider worthy. For he called you into his Kingdom to share his glory.
2:14 And then, dear brothers and sisters, you suffered persecution from your own countrymen. In this way, you imitated the believers in God's churches in Judea who, becuase of their belief in Christ Jesus, suffered from their own people, the jews. 15 For some of the Jews had killed their own prophets, and some even killed the Lord Jesus. Now they have persecuted us and driven us out. They displease God and oppose everyone 16 by trying to keep us from preaching the Good News to the Gentiles, for fear some might be saved. By doing this, they continue to pile up their sins. But the anger of God has caught up with them at last.
Just as the Jewish Christians in Jerusalem were persecuted by their own people, so the Gentile Christians in Thessalonica were persecuted by their fellow Gentiles. It is discouraging to face persecution, esp. when it comes from your own people. But when we take a stand for Christ, we will face opposition, disapproval, ridicule, and even persecution from our neighbors, friends, adn even family members.
4:1 Finally, dear brothers and sisters, we urge you in the name of the Lord Jesus to live in a way that pleases God, as we have taught you.
4:7 God has called us to be holy, not to live impure lives. 8 Anyone who refuses to live by these rules is not disobeying human rules but is rejecting God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.
4:11 This should be your ambition: to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we commanded you before. 12 As a result, people who are not Christians will respect the way you live, and you will not need to depend on others to meet your financial needs.
5:2 For you know quite well that the day of the Lord will come unexpectedly like a thief in the night. 3 When people are saying, "All is well; everything is peaceful and secure," then disaster will fall upon them as suddenly as a woman's birth pains begin when her child is about to be born. And there will be no escape. 4 But you aren't in the dark about these things, dear brothers and sisters, and you won't be surprised when the day of the Lord comes like a thief. 5 For you are all children of the light and of the day; we don't belong to darkness and night. 6 So be on your guard, not asleep like the others. Stay alert and be sober. 7 Night is the time for sleep and the time when people get drunk. 8 But let us who live in the light think clearly, protected by the body armor of faith and love, and wearing as our helmet the confidence of our salvation. 9 For God decided to save us through our Lord Jesus Christ, not to pour out his anger on us. 10 He died for us so that we can live with him forever, whether we are dead or alive at the time of his return. 11 So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.
5:14 Brothers and sisters we urge you to warn those who are lazy. Encourage those who are timid. Take tender care of those who are weak. Be patient with everyone. 15 See that no one pays back evil with evil, but always try to do good to each other and everyone else. 16 Always be joyful. 17 Keep on praying. 18 No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
5:19 Do not stifle the Holy Spirit. 20 Do not scoff at prophecies, 21 but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good. 22 Keep away from every kind of evil.
As you near the end of a foot race, your legs ache, your throat burns, and your whole body cries out for you to stop. This is when friends and fans are most valuble. Their encouragement helps you pust through the pain to the finish. In the same way, Christians are to encourage one another. A word of encouragement offered at the right moment can be the difference between finishing well and collapsing along the way. Look around you. Be sensitive to others' need for encouragement and offer supportive words or actions.