1 Thessalonians 2:17 – 3:13 17 But we, brethren, having been taken away from you for a short time in presence, not in heart, endeavored more eagerly to see your face with great desire. 18 Therefore we wanted to come to you—even I, Paul, time and again—but Satan hindered us. 19 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming? 20 For you are our glory and joy. 3 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. 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.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. 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? 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.
We see the fourth reason for Paul writing the letter to the church at Thessalonica. Paul wanted to express his joy in their faith. Look at verse one of chapter three where the love Paul had for the church and the absence from them became unbearable. Paul longed to go to see the church because of the affliction they were facing. We see in verse 18 of chapter two that Satan was hindering Paul from returning. So Paul and Barnabas sent Timothy again as an encouragement to the church. A side note this was the last time Timothy was sent by Paul to a church. Timothy has gone and returned with good news that the church had continued to grow in the faith and love. Paul is overwhelmed by joy because of their faith. Walking this journey of faith in the time of Paul is the same thing as it is today. We walk this journey of faith by only one means and that is by the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. What does that actually mean? So I am a Christian – now I sit back and let the Holy Spirit do everything. No! We must in order to live to the fullest for Jesus Christ we need to learn all we can about our Lord, we need to pray “night and day” as Paul did, we need to surrender ourselves (die to self) to the lord. A Life of Faith is a life filled with seeking Jesus and through the power of the Holy Spirit striving to be just like Him. Living for Christ in our world today is not an easy life, as Jesus said the world will hate us because the world first hated Him, but a rewarding and eternal life of joy and hope. Live today as you know what eternity will bring. Pastor Tom