Saturday, 22 July 2017
For now we live, if you stand fast in the Lord. 1 Thessalonians 3:8
Paul has written of his state which bordered on despondency, wondering how the Thessalonians fared, and if they had maintained their faith in the Lord, or if they had gone astray. The burden of this was so great on him and his traveling associates, that it was as if life itself was sucked out of them. One can imagine nights where the mind is consumed with distress, and where sleep flees away. In the day, there is no joy. The bird’s song doesn’t bring happiness, and food has no taste. This is how Paul’s emotions probably were. As he said in verse 3:1, “…when we could no longer endure it.”
But there is now a marked change in his tone. Timothy had returned from Thessalonica, and he had brought with him good news of their faith and love. Their faith was grounded, and their love of Paul and his company was strong. In a note of joy, which can almost be felt by the reader, he says, “For we now live.” The life that had been drained from them was restored. The sleep that they had lost was now sweet. The sound of the morning bird brought delight, and the food at the table had its flavor returned. Life had sprung anew!
To show how much he wanted this condition to last, he then adds on a conditional note, “…if you stand fast in the Lord.” The joy of Paul’s group was conditioned upon the soundness of the faith which the churches maintained. It surely wasn’t just those in Thessalonica, but each church that they had ministered to. Paul’s words to the Galatians show a man beside himself because of their sudden turning from the truth to the lies of the Judaizers. He did not want this in Thessalonica, and he rejoiced that it was not the case, but his life would be drained once again if they took a turn onto Apostasy Avenue or down Heresy Highway.
Life application: When congregants turn away from sound doctrine, or when those who proclaim false messages are on the attack, it is surely a source of great consternation. Be sure to pray for those who hold to sound doctrine, and be sure to hold fast to the truths of Scripture. Don’t let Satan get a foothold in your life, but rather stand fast on the grace of Jesus Christ the Lord.
Heavenly Father, praises to You in the highest. You are great and greatly to be praised. We thank You for Your marvelous word which tells us of Christ Jesus, and which leads us in sound doctrine, if we will but open it and apply it to our lives. And we thank You above all for Jesus Christ our Lord who is the fulfillment of all that Your word proclaims. All glory to You, O God. Amen.