Concern 1 Thessalonians 3:1-5

Posted: October 22, 2010 in 1 Thessalonians

(1Th 3:1)

Therefore, when we could no longer endure it, we thought it good to be left in Athens alone,

In the last verse of chapter 2 Paul says ” For you are our glory and Joy.” Paul was in Athens after being chased out of Berea. And it seems that he made attempts to get back to Thessalonica, but was hindered by Satan. Paul had a special place in his heart for them and he longed to be with them again. So when he could no longer endure not knowing what was going on with them and their new found faith, he decided to stay alone in Athens and send Timothy to them. I would think that this would be a hard decision for Paul to make. One because he really wanted to go himself and two I don’t believe he really wanted to be left alone in Athens and that he really needed Timothy there to help.

Look at Acts 17:15 ;

(Act 17:15) So those who conducted Paul brought him to Athens; and receiving a command for Silas and Timothy to come to him with all speed, they departed.

Looks to me like Paul wanted them in a hurry! It wasn’t exactly a nice town, unless your thing is idol worship and human sacrifice. So Paul bites the bullet and sends Timothy to Thessalonica.

(1Th 3:2)

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,

Look at how Paul describes Timothy here. “our brother and minister of God, and our fellow laborer in the gospel of Christ,” Paul was an apostle, but he puts himself on the same level as Timothy. Timothy was Paul’s student and yet he calls him brother, he was his student and yet he calls him a fellow laborer. We’re all in this together and in the Lords eyes we are all brothers and ministers and Paul recognizes this. Paul also says this to let them (the Thessalonians) know that Timothy is well qualified to be there in his place, and he wasn’t just going to send anyone to be with them, it had to be someone he loved and trusted.

Now Paul finishes the verse by saying “to establish you and encourage you concerning your faith,” but he continues to verse 3 and I believe we need to keep them together.

(1Th 3:3) that no one should be shaken by these afflictions; for you yourselves know that we are appointed to this.

So, Paul is sending Timothy to them to establish and encourage them in their faith. Paul knew that the tempter was out there ready to seize his prey and would stop at nothing to change the hearts of the converted Thessalonians. The word afflictions is literally persecution and Paul wanted them to have faith and know that this is all part of being a Christian. Jesus says this;

(Joh 16:33) These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

We need to understand that as Christians we are going to suffer persecution, we’re going to have tribulation and we’re going to have times that frankly really stink! But we need to keep our eye on the prize, that being an eternity with Jesus Christ. What we go through here might seem like a lot right now, but it will all be so worth it when we get to go home and be with the Lord forever.

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