From the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, following him as the true King and Messiah meant going against the larger culture. And for many Christians, this caused persecution and conflict in their communities. The church at Thessalonica was facing persecution, but Paul wrote to them to encourage their faithfulness. He also directs them to respond to their persecution with love, meeting opposition with grace and generosity. This way of life is motivated by hope in the coming Kingdom of Jesus that has already begun.