Friday, 21 July 2017
…therefore, brethren, in all our affliction and distress we were comforted concerning you by your faith. 1 Thessalonians 3:7
What is apparent here is that having the knowledge that the church in Thessalonica had maintained the faith was a source of great joy to Paul and his associates. To them it was so wonderful that it actually relieved them through their own times of affliction and distress.
The word “therefore” is given based on everything thus far in chapter 3. There was a sense of uncertainty in what the state of the church was. There was the sending of Timothy to establish and encourage them in their walk. There was the truth that the tempter was out to destroy the faith of believers. Each of these things weighed heavily on Paul and those with him. But upon receiving the news from Timothy concerning the positive state of the church, Paul says that even “in all our affliction and distress we were comforted concerning you.”
The heavy weight was lifted, the burden was gone, and joy of heart and soul was now felt. The gospel had prevailed in the hearts of the brethren, and their walk had not wavered. Paul says to them that they were “comforted concerning you by your faith.” When faith is grounded, all else that is sound and proper will naturally follow suit.
They had kept their eyes on the Lord, their hearts tuned to His gospel, and their lives on the right and proper path. It was a welcome thing to have received this wonderful news.
Life application: How often do we hear someone say, “My son has stopped going to church,” or “My wife says she just doesn’t believe in the Bible anymore.” People’s faith is challenged, they take their eyes off the Lord, and they lose their footing on the proper path. When this happens, it is a source of great consternation for those who know the logical end of such things. When this arises, we need to be ready to provide words of empathy and compassion. And we need to also be willing, if asked, to help speak to the wayward person about turning back to the Lord. Always be ready, as this is a common thing. If we can be a help in such a time of need, let us not be found either unable or unwilling to help.
Lord God, this is a woe-filled world, and it is one which so easily can take our eyes and our hearts off of You. We can get consumed in our own trials and afflictions, and our faith can be challenged. Certainly, this is why you would have us read and know Your word, treasuring it in our hearts. When times of difficulty come, we can be ready for them by refusing to have our faith distracted. Instead, in such moments we can actually get closer to You. Help us in this, Lord. Help us to never fall away from the faith we profess. Amen.