1. 1 Thessalonians 1:6 (ESV)
  2. Application

Suffering and experiencing the joy of the Holy Spirit

1 Thessalonians 1:6 (ESV)

6 And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit,

It can be very painful, emotionally and physically, to endure suffering, and the Bible does not encourage us to pretend that bad things are good. Many of the psalms are laments, in which the psalmists pour out their hearts to God about the evil and suffering that are in the world (e.g., Psalm 77:1–20; Psalm 79:1–13; Psalm 86:1–17; Psalm 137:1–9). Yet the reality that we are reconciled to God, that Christ conquered evil on the cross, and that we can look forward to his ultimate and complete victory can give us a profound and genuine joy in the midst of our trials.