13 But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters loved by the Lord, because God chose you as firstfruits[e] to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. 14 He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
15 So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings[f] we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.
16 May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, 17 encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.
You could be forgiven from thinking you have just flipped open to 2 Timothy!
With the call to stand firm and even the perseverance in the midst of suffering :
4 Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring.
I guess the thing that gives it away is verse 15 So then, brothers and………. SISTERS!
But it shouldn’t really be that big of a surprise, to hear the same sort of challenges and encouragements again and again through the letters written to the churches.
Cause whoever you are and wherever you are, standing up for the glorious gospel is gunna mean challenges. Resisting suffering that comes from speaking about Jesus, refuting false teachings about our Lord (2 Thes 2:1-2). Yet of course these challenges come not without powerful aids to help us in our time of need:
1 As for other matters, brothers and sisters, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you. 2 And pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil people, for not everyone has faith. 3 But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one. 4 We have confidence in the Lord that you are doing and will continue to do the things we command. 5 May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.
May we therefore guard the gospel and proclaim it, may its message spread rapidly through Lismore and beyond as we go out boldly strengthened and protected by our faithful Lord.