Vs 2 we sent Timothy … to establish and exhort you in your faith
Vs 4 … we kept telling you beforehand that we were to suffer affliction,
Vs 6 But now Timothy has come to us from you, and has brought us the good news of your faith and love …
Vs 7 for this reason, brothers, in all our distress and affliction we have been comforted about you through your faith.
Vs 8 For now we live, if you are standing fast in the Lord.
Vs 9 For what thanksgiving can we return to God for you, for all the joy that we feel for your sake before our God,
Vs 12 and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, 13 so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God
Paul has told the church about suffering much affliction.
The suffering was no surprise to him.
He expected it.
But even in his great suffering, Paul’s concern is not at all his own circumstances and welfare.
Paul makes clear his greater concern is the Thessalonian’s faith.
Paul uses the word “you” and “your“ over and over.
In fact, he says “your faith” actually comforts him.
Even more than comfort Paul says he feels “joy for your sake”
When I feel like I am suffering in some way or situation or circumstance …
Where is my focus? … Myself! … My struggle … my woes … my pain …
Difficult circumstances heighten the focus on self … “ME”,
I can even rationalize it with thinking … “I ‘need’ me time! Right now!’
Paul here sets the example for the exact opposite!
Heightened affliction on himself actually heightens his concern for the church.
He wants their faith … their heart … their love to be even more firmly established.
Paul says this is what can actually bring him joy!
His work is not in vain!
Do I use difficulty to increase my enthusiasm … my drive for my work?
Or do I use my struggles to run from work?
So often it seems easy to throw in the towel when difficulty comes along.
Paul focuses even more so on the task at hand!
Strengthen the good news in others!
Build the church!
This is what brings joy!
Thank you, God, for your Word
Thank you, Jesus, for your Church
Thank you, Spirit, for your Joy
Help me grow in desire for them all
In Jesus name