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