The beauty of the life God has called us to live is revealed in this chapter. Paul and his companions encouraged the believers in Thessalonica "to excel still more, and to make your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we commanded you." Is it your ambition to lead a quiet life without interfering in the lives of others and to work hard for the money God provides? It was the ambition of these Christians, and it should be ours, as well. Once again, we see how this is exactly opposite the world's idea of success. According to the world, we need to be loud, proud, and prosperous without actually working. God, however, asks us to surrender to His Spirit and not to our flesh, so that He can use us to impact, not impress, others through the life we live. God's promise is that as we grow more in submission, He will provide for every need, including the need to grieve. Paul teaches us that everyone grieves the loss of people we love, but those who are believers and who know their relative/friend was a believer, grieve differently from those who have no hope. We do so because we know that eventually God is going to send His Son to get His kids. We will be "caught up" (literally "raptured" in the Greek) and so shall we always be with the Lord. Paul's desire is to bring comfort to the grieving and to encourage these believers to excel in the life God has called them to live. Are you struggling with how to live the Christian life? Paul just provided a clear answer! Are you grieving today? As a Christian, you have the joy of walking closely with God and of knowing He is coming soon to reunite us with those we miss so deeply.

Help me, Lord, to lead a quiet life without interfering in other's lives and work diligently within the calling You have placed upon my life. Help me to grieve as one who has hope and keep me focused on that day when Jesus will return to take us home.