Paul’s Concern For The Believers

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Concern

The ‘wherefore” (v. 1) that opens this chapter refers back to where Paul expressed his great love and concern for the believers (I Thes. 2:17-20). These new believers must be taught and established in the faith. A key word in this chapter is establish (v. 2). Paul was not only an evangelist but he also had a pastor’s heart and so was very concerned about the believers in Thessalonica. He loved them so much that he could not abandon them when they needed spiritual help. Since he was not able to return to Thessalonica and establish the saints, he sent Timothy back to see how things were going. He did this in spite of the fact that it meant he would have to stay by himself in Athens. Timothy was the ideal man to send. He had faithfully served with Paul (Philippians 2:22) and knew how to minister in the churches.

Paul loved the Thessalonican believers so much that he would have risked his own life to return to them. He loved the believers at Philippi so much that he was willing to stay out of heaven himself, in order to encourage them (Phil. 1:22-26). It is not an easy thing to establish new Christians in the faith. They often have many problems which require a lot of love and patience. Timothy had these qualities. He was also a good team man. He did not try to run the show himself and get people to follow him.

Paul reminded the Thessalonians through Timothy that they should remember that affliction is the normal part of the Christian life (vv, 3-4). We need to warn new believers that it is not easy to live for Christ; otherwise when trials come they will be discouraged and defeated. Paul is sure that Satan has been tempting them but he does not think they have been yielding (v. 5).

Application

Not only do I need to live Godly in Christ Jesus when persecution comes, but I need to look for ways I can help other Christians when they face difficult times.

I Thessalonians 3:1-5 (English Standard Version)

Therefore when we could bear it no longer, we were willing to be left behind at Athens alone, and we sent Timothy, our brother and God's coworker in the gospel of Christ, to establish and exhort you in your faith, that no one be moved by these afflictions. For you yourselves know that we are destined for this. For when we were with you, we kept telling you beforehand that we were to suffer affliction, just as it has come to pass, and just as you know. For this reason, when I could bear it no longer, I sent to learn about your faith, for fear that somehow the tempter had tempted you and our labor would be in vain.

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