1Thessalonians 1:6-7 And you became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost: So that you were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia. 

‘Followers’ [Greek: mimetes] imitators. Follow or imitate us as we imitate Christ (1:6; 2:14; 1Cor. 4:16; 11:1; Eph. 5:1; Heb. 6:12; 1Pet. 3:13).

From 1 Peter 2:21-23 we learn that we were called to follow in Christ’s steps because He suffered for us and left us an example as to not live in sin, to have no guile or to revile when others revile against us; to threaten no one when we suffer, but to commit ourselves to Him that judges righteously. 

‘Affliction’ [Greek: thlipsis] not a disease, as usually understood, but tribulation. Translated “tribulation” 20 times; “affliction” in the sense of tribulation 18 times; “burdened” (2Cor. 8:13); “anguish” (John 16:21); “persecution” (Acts 11:19); and “trouble” (1Cor. 7:28; 2Cor. 1:4, 8). Not once is it used for physical sickness or disease.

‘With joy of the Holy Ghost.’ This is the true way to receive the Word of God. There is too little joy in new converts today. Perhaps they do not see a true demonstration of the power of God in others’ lives, as referred to in 1Thessalonians 1:3, 5; 2:13-14; 2Thessalonians 1:3, 11; 2:17; 3:1, 9 and Hebrews 2:4. ‘Ensamples’ [Greek: tupos] example (1:7; 2Thess. 3:9; Php. 3:17; 1Cor. 10:6, 11; 1Tim. 4:12; 1Pet. 5:3); pattern (Tit. 2:7; Heb. 8:5); manner (Acts 23:25); fashion (Acts 7:44); form (Rom. 6:17); figure (Acts 7:43; Rom. 5:14); and print (John 20:25). These believers became models or patterns for all congregations in Macedonia and Greece (1:7-8) – models, not only of patience in hope but in faith and power that worked effectually through all of them which believed (2:13-14; 2Thess. 1:11). They were also imitators of the apostle and the Lord (1:6), as well as of the congregations in Judea who also exercised the power of God (2:13-14; Acts 2:43; 3:6; 5:16; 6:3, 8; 11:21).