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. 1 Thessalonians 1:3
Paul also mentions these three qualities. “Now these three remain: faith, hope and love” (1 Corinthians 13:13). These three qualities remain after prophecies have ceased, tongues have been stilled and knowledge has passed. It’s important to remember that in the final analysis, it’s not our work or our labour or our endurance that will remain but rather faith, hope and love.
Work, labour and endurance become a wearisome duty when we act out of a sense of obligation. When we feel we have to do something because it’s the “right thing” to do or the “Christian thing” to do. It’s not God’s intention that obligation is our motivation. Rather he wants us to engage in work because we have faith in his plans and purposes. God wants us to labour because we have been prompted by his love in our hearts for other people. God wants us to endure because we’re inspired by hope knowing that God has prepared a wonderful future for those who are his.
From time to time we need to check our motivation. Am I being motivated by faith, love and hope? Or do I have lesser motives of wanting to appear more committed than others, or impressing others with my perceived spirituality, or simply caving in to peer pressure? It’s important that we get our motivation right otherwise our efforts will be in vain and shown for what they really are (1 Corinthians 3:12-15).
In Thessalonica faith produced work, love prompted labour and hope inspired endurance, may it be true for us too.