In The Word
Read I Thessalonians 3
Encouragement of Timothy’s Visit
3 Therefore when we could endure it no longer, we thought it best to be left behind at Athens alone, 2 and we sent Timothy, our brother and God’s fellow worker in the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you as to your faith,3 so that no one would be disturbed by these afflictions; for you yourselves know that we have been destined for this. 4 For indeed when we were with you, we kept telling you in advance that we were going to suffer affliction; and so it came to pass, as you know. 5 For this reason, when I could endure it no longer, I also sent to find out about your faith, for fear that the tempter might have tempted you, and our labor would be in vain.
6 But now that Timothy has come to us from you, and has brought us good news of your faith and love, and that you always think kindly of us, longing to see us just as we also long to see you, 7 for this reason, brethren, in all our distress and affliction we were comforted about you through your faith; 8 for now we really live, if you stand firm in the Lord. 9 For what thanks can we render to God for you in return for all the joy with which we rejoice before our God on your account, 10 as we night and day keep praying most earnestly that we may see your face, and may complete what is lacking in your faith?
11 Now may our God and Father Himself and Jesus our Lord direct our way to you;12 and may the Lord cause you to increase and abound in love for one another, and for all people, just as we also do for you; 13 so that He may establish your hearts without blame in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints.
New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
Walking In The Word
The church at Thessalonica received the Word of God from the Apostle Paul and Timothy. They allowed the Word to increase their faith, but they did not know that the decision to hold fast to their faith would affect others the way it did. Paul testified of the joy that their steadfastness brought him in I Thessalonians 3:7, “…for this reason, brethren, in all our distress and affliction we were comforted about you through your faith.” Paul was going through a hard time due to his faith and was concerned that their faith was under attack also.
One of the things we as Christians have to be aware of is the fact that the enemy will challenge our faith. Paul previously warned the Thessalonians that affliction would come. Paul wanted to know if they had endured that affliction, so that Timothy’s and his labor there would not be in vain. In seeking to encourage them, Paul found much needed encouragement for himself. He was so overjoyed, he did not know how to thank them.
Often times when we are faced with afflictions, we cave in and our faith is weakened. Today’s reading teaches us that standing firm in the faith is not only beneficial for us, but also for those who are around us. We never know who is going through something and needs the security that is only found in faith in Jesus. Stand firm and keep the faith.