In 1 Thessalonians, Paul seeks to encourage the Thessalonian believers toward godliness.  He has reflected upon their conversion, he is aware of the trials they face, and he has exhorted them toward sanctification.  He knows, however, the tendency to lose heart.  And as these Christians are losing loved ones and even facing persecution, Paul urges them to the hope of Christ’s second coming.  It is really this message of hope and of encouragement that shapes the passage.  Paul, with this hope as the backdrop, encourages them with the coming resurrection, and he exhorts them to be ready for the Day of Christ’s coming.