‘We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth;’ — 2 Thessalonians 1:3
Faith and love are vital to the maturity of all Christians. In Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians, he worried about their spiritual condition, and he was overjoyed to hear from Timothy of their faith and charity (love) (1 Thess 2:6). Now in Paul’s second letter to them, he begins by thanking God that their faith was growing exceedingly and their love toward each other was abounding.
Growing faith is a faith that is actively trusting God, actively living as if what God has written is absolutely true, and continually rewiring the mind to think according to what God has said. Notice that their faith was growing ‘exceedingly’ which means at a very rapid pace. This was at the same time they were being persecuted and going through much tribulation (v.4). Is our faith growing? How fast is our faith growing? Can we see that often the times our faith grows the most is during periods of persecution?
Abounding love is another vital area for Christians. Every one of the Thessalonians was abounding in their love toward the others. It was something that was abounding and abundant. How much love do we have? Do we love everyone else in our church? Do we overflow and abound in love? Of course, this can only happen as we know the love of God ourselves. The more we are aware of God’s love the more we can love others (Eph 3:18-91).