"We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brethren, as is only fitting, because your faith is greatly enlarged, and the love of each one of you toward one another grows ever greater; therefore, we ourselves speak proudly of you among the churches of God for your perseverance and faith in the midst of all your persecutions and afflictions which you endure."
2 Thessalonians 1:3
The Thessalonians were commended by Paul for their faith and love in the midst of the "persecutions and afflictions" they were experiencing. It was in these troubled times that their faith really grew and their love for one another increased. This is what difficulties in life do for us when we persevere in faith. When we trust the Lord and allow Him to teach us through the trial we find we come through it with larger faith and greater love for those around us. "And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope;" (Romans 5:3-4).