“…so that we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure…”
There is no definite article before the word “faith” in the Greek indicating quality of faith. The Thessalonian faith was no dead creed but a living dynamic whereby they applied the reality of Christianity to their experience.
Quality of faith depends on our understanding and appropriation of God’s providence.
We do not need a lot of faith when things are going well. When our health is good, we have a regular income, and our family is fine, who needs God? “I can make it on my own. Everything is coming up roses. The road is smooth and straight.” However, when everything comes up lemons, we need to exercise a rest in God’s providence. Our faith needs to grow when nothing goes right.
“And the apostles said to the Lord, ‘Increase our faith’” (Luke 17:5).
When God increases trouble in our lives, we need to increase our faith in His sovereign power.