Saturday, 18 July 2020 1 Thessalonians 3:1-13
“It gives us new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord.” -1 Thessalonians 3:8[NLT]
Thessalonica was a seaport trade centre in Greece, where Apostle Paul ministered only for three weeks in the Jewish synagogues (Acts 17:1-9). The theme behind writing the first letter to Thessalonica was to confirm the young disciples in fundamental truth already taught them in a very short time, to exhort them to continue in holiness; and give comfort concerning those who already died in the faith. In today’s reading we can see Apostle Paul’s concern for the church and sends Timothy to Thessalonica to strengthen, comfort and encourage them in their faith (1 Thess. 3:2).
In other words here we can see spiritual children’s spiritual growth and the issues which each of us (believers) usually face on the Christian pathway. They are:-
Afflictions (1 Thess. 3:3)
Temptations (1 Thess. 3:5)
Afflictions: Suffering affliction was not a surprise for the churches, because the apostles and the teachers taught them and warned them about the sufferings beforehand (v4). Suffering is part of godly living. “For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps” (1 Peter 2:21). It is the same situation today though some try to teach against it. Here the caution is “that no one be moved by these afflictions. For you yourselves know that we are destined for this (1 Thess. 3:3). James 1:2-3 [NLT] says: “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.”
Temptations: The tempter is always trying to trap. In the Bible we can see several instances of fall due to temptations. A believer is not excluded from tempting situations in this era either; instead chances have increased more than a thousand times. But for a believer, he has a wonderful hope that: “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin (Hebrews 4:15). Believe steadfastly on Him and everything that challenges you will strengthen your faith. There is continual testing in the life of a believer till our physical death; “For if we are faithful to the end, trusting God just as firmly as when we first believed, we will share in all that belongs to Christ.” (Hebrews 3:14 NLT).
After receiving the report from Timothy, Apostle Paul is praying and longing for their perfection in faith. While hearing the faith about his young disciples he was giving praises to Lord. Here Paul expresses a few good things, noticeable because of the outstanding examples of demonstrating God’s power to all who believe and today we can also follow the same steps. They are:-
Comfort through others faith (1 Thess. 3:7). For this reason, brothers, in all our distress and affliction we have been comforted about you through your faith.
For now we really live, since you are standing firm in the (1 Thess. 3:8).
Giving thanks to Lord with all the Joy because of them (1 Thess. 3:9).
Praying night and day to see each other and supply what is lacking in their faith (1 Thess. 3:10).
Increase in love (1 Thess. 3:12).
Moreover, Paul concludes: “May he, as a result, make your hearts strong, blameless, and holy as you stand before God our Father when our Lord Jesus comes again with all his holy people. Amen.” (1 Thess. 3:13).
Prayer: Dear God, help us to stand firm in our daily life wherever you placed us to glorify your name. Till the end of our days help us to remain faithful to you and receive the crown of the Glory. In Jesus name we pray -Amen