Paul and his companions experienced violence and persecution in Thessalonica when they first preached the gospel there.  In fact, they had to escape at night from a rioting mob, opposed to their teaching that Jesus is the Messiah (Acts 17).  In a week where Sydney has experienced at least three incidents of gross violence, you might feel anxious or uncertain about our society. 
But in the midst of severe suffering the Thessalonians were filled with joy in the gospel.  The message of the gospel rang out from them as news spread of how their lives had been transformed.  We serve the living and true God – and we are awaiting the return of his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.  This fills us with hope and comfort, and enables us to live with joy, hope and faith in our Saviour Christ.

The gospel is powerful to transform our lives, and when it does, people notice.
Imagine if people said of our Church: they ‘turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he rescued from the dead – Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.’ (1 Thess 1:9-10).
Imagine if the gospel transformed our lives in such a way that people around noticed and were drawn to find out about this transforming power for themselves.
Yours in Christ,