So...I've been absent from blogging. Way too much typing for school to put any extra thoughts out here. So I've just posted something I just posted to blackboard for an assignment where I was supposed to talk briefly about missio Dei, sanctification/holiness, suffering, faith, and the death of Christ according to 1 Thessalonians. So here's my brief reply.
The missio dei is God’s loving action of bringing redemption and reconciliation to a world separated from his life and love. Jesus lived this in his “cruciform pattern of activity” revealing the love and holiness of God in his actions and teachings and invited others to follow him in this pattern (Johnson Holy, Holiness, NT). Those who choose to “have faith in”/”be faithful to” Jesus in holiness of life, choose to be separate from the ways of the world and therefore also choose to partake in similar sufferings as Jesus did, which Paul seems to imply that he had taught the Thessalonians about while present with them (1 Thess. 3:3-4).
What is fascinating is that Paul implies that his followers were destined for suffering (3:3-4) and that it was God’s will that they should be sanctified (4:3). For Paul, both are integral in following Christ. Christians are set apart for a life like Christ, who died as result of his pattern of living. Paul also seems concerned that their sufferings might cause the Thessalonian Christians to lose their faith (3:5). He also prays that they would be strengthened in holiness (3:13). In this we see that faith and holiness are lovingly given by God and willingly lived out by his followers.