Heavenly Father, we pray for clear minds, undivided attention, undistracted concentration, wisdom, understanding, insight, conviction, correction, reproof, and training in righteousness, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
1 Thessalonians 3: 1-13, encouragements
VV 1-3, 1 Therefore, when we could no longer endure it, we thought it good to be left in Athens alone, 2 and sent Timothy, our brother and minister of God, and our fellow laborer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you and encourage you concerning your faith, 3 that no one should be shaken by these afflictions; for you yourselves know that we are appointed to this.
In the face of persecution, Paul, Silas, and Timothy were forced out of Thessalonica to Berea. From there Paul traveled alone to Athens and from there to Corinth. Paul sent Timothy back to Thessalonica to establish, encourage, and minister God’s grace to them. At this time, Timothy was only a young man but Paul had entrusted the gospel to him.
VV 4-5, 4 For, in fact, we told you before when we were with you that we would suffer tribulation, just as it happened, and you know. 5 For this reason, when I could no longer endure it, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter had tempted you, and our labor might be in vain.
Paul predicted that the hostile Jews who persecuted him and his co-workers when they were in Thessalonica would turn to the Thessalonians Christians and persecute them when he was away.
VV 6-8, 6 But now that Timothy has come to us from you, and brought us good news of your faith and love, and that you always have good remembrance of us, greatly desiring to see us, as we also to see you 7 therefore, brethren, in all our affliction and distress we were comforted concerning you by your faith. 8 For now we live, if you stand fast in the Lord.
After ministering to the Thessalonians Christians for some time, Timothy returned to Paul in Corinth and gave him a good report about the Thessalonians Christians. Encouraged and comforted by their faith, Paul and wrote 1 Thessalonians from Corinth to teach, instruct, encourage, and disciple them.
VV 9-10, 9, For what thanks can we render to God for you, for all the joy with which we rejoice for your sake before our God, 10 night and day praying exceedingly that we may see your face and perfect what is lacking in your faith?
Paul thanked God for their faithfulness. He rejoiced, interceded, and upheld the Thessalonians Christians. bringing their personal and ministry needs before God every day.
VV 11-13, 11 Now may our God and Father Himself, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way to you. 12 And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you, 13 so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.
In doxology and benediction, Paul prayed that God will allow him to visit Thessalonica. He prayed for the Thessalonians Christians to love one another, to live holy, blameless, and faithful lives before God in anticipation of the second coming of Christ.
Paul encouraged his audience and us to be faithful and stand firm in the face of persecution. The same people who persecuted Paul and Jesus will persecute us. Tribulations and persecutions are part and parcel of the Christian life. There will be no escape. We are to intercede and uphold each other in prayer, remembering and bringing all our needs before God every day.
Heavenly Father, we pray for strength to endure and overcome trials, tribulations, and persecutions. We pray for love, holiness, blamelessness, and faithfulness in anticipation of Your second coming, in Jesus’ name, Amen.