Outside the Shibuya train station in Tokyo is a statue commemorating an Akita dog named Hachiko. Hachiko is remembered for unusual faithfulness to his owner, a university professor who commuted from the station daily. The dog accompanied him on his walk there in the morning and came back to meet him every afternoon just as his train arrived.
One day the professor didn’t return to the station; sadly, he’d died at work. But for the rest of his life—more than nine years—Hachiko showed up at the same time as the afternoon train. Day after day, regardless of weather, the dog waited faithfully for his master’s return.
Paul commended the Thessalonians for their faithfulness, citing their “work produced by faith,” “labor prompted by love,” and “endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 1:3). Despite harsh opposition, they left their old ways “to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven” (vv. 9–10).
These early believers’ vital hope in their Savior and His love for them inspired them to see beyond their difficulties and to share their faith enthusiastically. They were assured there was nothing better than living for Jesus. How good it is to know that the same Holy Spirit who emboldened them (v. 5) still empowers us today to faithfully serve Jesus as we await His return.
What do you look forward to most about being with Jesus? How are you sharing your hope in Him?
To learn more about what the New Testament teaches about the Christian faith, visit christianuniversity.org/NT109.
Easton’s Bible Dictionary says: “(Thessalonica) was the capital of one of the four Roman districts of Macedonia. . . . On his second missionary journey, Paul preached in the synagogue here, the chief synagogue of the Jews in that part of Macedonia, and laid the foundations of a church (Acts 17:1–4; 1 Thessalonians 1:9). The violence of the Jews drove him from the city, when he fled to Berea (Acts 17:5–10). Paul visited the church here on a subsequent occasion (20:1–3).” The church at Thessalonica would become a key witness for the good news in northern Greece