At the End of Your Rope

Mar 16, 2014Claudia Mitchell

I Thessalonians 1:1-3

The first chapter of Thessalonians reminds me of a quote from the thirty second president of the United States “When you come to end of your rope tie a knot and hang on.”(Franklin Roosevelt)

One of the shortest books in the New Testament with only seventy nine verses this book can be read in thirty minutes. It’s a good read. A short letter to a young church and unlike Paul’s writing in Romans there is no complicated theology. This letter is simple, direct and practical. If you want to know what Paul believes read Romans but if you want to know what he was like as a person read Thessalonians.

Paul’s ministry in this seaport town in Greece led to a small congregation of converted Greeks, believing Jews, and some leading women. The young church was under intense pressure surrounded by a culture of idol-worshipers. Paul sent his friend Timothy to check on the new believers and perhaps Timothy reported back something like, they are doing good work and growing but “these people are at the end of their rope”….Paul begins his letter with words we all need to hear when we find ourselves at the end of our rope..”Hang on”.

“We always thank God for all of you mentioning you in our prayers. 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 1:2)

How encouraging this letter must have been. I love the words in verse three “endurance of Hope”. I take this to mean that hope produces endurance or that endurance is the fruit of hope. Perhaps today finds you feeling at the end of your rope, facing intense pressure of emotional, relational or spiritual trials. This letter although not written to us is certainly for us, and Paul’s words offer encouragement. We can “hang on” endure knowing that the gift of eternal life is ours. We put our hope in the sovereign grace and power of God. This is what we do when we come to end of our rope…HOPE IN GOD for this is the great source of power to endure.