Wednesday 1 March, 2017
1 Thessalonians 3:1-5
3 We couldn’t wait any longer. So we thought it was best to be left by ourselves in Athens. 2 We sent our brother Timothy to give you strength and hope in your faith. He works together with us in God’s service to spread the good news about Christ. 3 We sent him so that no one would be upset by times of testing. You know very well that we have to go through times of testing. 4 In fact, when we were with you, here is what we kept telling you. We were telling you that our enemies would make us suffer. As you know very well, it has turned out that way. 5 That’s the reason I sent someone to find out about your faith. I couldn’t wait any longer. I was afraid that Satan had tempted you in some way. Then our work among you would have been useless.
The Thessalonians are not to be disheartened by the trials or persecutions that are being faced by Paul and his companions. Paul knew they were coming and he had warned the church in Thessalonica in advance. Paul knew that just as his master Jesus had been persecuted so all his friends and followers will be persecuted. Ultimately Paul knows that persecution will not last forever.
Persecution and trials are not a sign for me to get discouraged. They are yet another way I am connected to my saviour Jesus. They can be an affirmation to me that by the grace of God, Jesus is living on the inside of me. Darkness is reacting against the light in me.
The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. John 1:5
Lord Jesus, I want to be identified with you in every way, even if it means persecution and rejection by some. I know there will come a time when your light will vanquish all darkness. Thank you for making me a child of the light.
Written by Andrew Mellor
1 Thess. 3:1-5
The Thessalonians are feeling the pressure of persecution. Paul, knowing their plight, makes a strategic decision to take Timothy from ministry in Athens and send him to the Thessalonians. Why? To encourage them.
Timothy was sent to encourage them in their faith, to build them up in this time of trial. To help them not fall away from their faith in Jesus.
Encouragement is so powerful. Here it bolsters the faith of a church when one man comes and strengthens the church. Timothy would have been there for some time, so it was not a short visit as such, but it certainly had impact.
How am I at encouraging people, over the long haul. Not the proverbial slap on the back, but the continual strength that comes from believing in another person. When people are doing it tough, do I enter into their mess and encourage them or do I stand back at a distance to them, expecting them to carry their own burdens?
Father help me to be an encourager, not just today but everyday for people over the long haul.
Thanks Andrew- I am a child of the light and light always overcomes darkness.
I love that I don’t have to do it on my own – Paul says “they couldn’t wait any longer” – to send help – so they sent Timothy – they sent reinforcements to the Thessalonians – so they didn’t have to face the persecution alone.
When I’m struggling, my default is to put my head down and try harder – and in doing so I feel isolated- yet I am encouraged this morning to lift up my head so that I can do 2 things
1. See the people that God has sent to help me
2. Be the person that God sends to help others
Help me lift up my eyes. My help comes from You – You are faithful to send me the help I need! I an not alone – I have You and I have Your people.
I love the double edge of your comment.