- 1 Thessalonians 3:6-9
- 1 Th 3:6 (KJB)
- But now when Timotheus came from you unto us, and brought us good
tidings of your faith and charity, and that ye have good remembrance of
us always, desiring greatly to see us, as we also to see you:
- Good tidings - Good reports
- Timothy had just brought back a good report to Paul how well the
Thessalonians were doing. They were doing well spiritually and growing in
the faith. That growth in the faith was manifesting itself in charity, which
meant they were doing a tremendous amount of witnessing to all who they came
across. It is a strong tenet of the faith that when a Christian starts
growing in the faith and they are truly committed, then that growth and
commitment will eventually manifest itself in some type of outward ministry.
Here Paul was very happy with the report that the Thessalonians wanted to
see him as much as he wanted to visit them. This is a great sign of growth
because sometimes when a Christian is discipled early in their Christian
life, they may grow and not desire to see the ones who groomed them.
Sometimes it is a growth of hidden pride because they may have a little
knowledge and it may puff them up. Here the Thessalonians were growing very
strong and yet they still desired to see Paul again which meant that there
was no arrogance among them nor was there any leader who tried to stop Paul
from coming. The Apostle John had faced that problem.
(3 John 1:9 KJV) I wrote unto the church: but
Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not.
- 1 Th 3:7 (KJB)
- Therefore, brethren, we were comforted over you in all our affliction
and distress by your faith:
- Distress - Necessity, worldly trials and hardship
- While Paul was in Corinth, he was in the middle of much affliction.
(Acts 18:1-17) He was also suffering from physical privation and other
painful circumstances while he maintained his witness in Corinth. He was
concerned about what may have happened to the Thessalonians, if Satan was
able to turn them back to false religions or paganism. When Paul received
the report that they were doing well, even while suffering great
tribulation, Paul was joyful and comforted, probably relieved to find out
that they were progressing in the Christian faith and not abandoning it.
While Paul suffered, the good report seemed to mollify that suffering.
- 1 Th 3:8 (KJB)
- For now we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord.
- Stand fast - Stand still, persevere, stand firm
- Paul here gives a tremendous principle for the Christian life. First,
Paul realizes that it was the firm stand by the Thessalonians in the Gospel
which caused them to continue to grow in the faith. They were able to stand
firm because of their faith in the Lord. When one continues on in the faith
and stands firm in the Lord, there is no limit as to what can be
accomplished for the Kingdom of God. The only time a ministry wanes or
becomes weakened is when we suffer some kind of opposition and then we allow
that to control or limit our Christian involvement. No one wants to be
persecuted but the reality is that true Christians will face persecution. If
we allow the persecution to stifle our ministry, then Satan wins but if we
use that persecution as a steeping stone, then we continue to grow in the
faith, become stronger, and become bolder as we continue to stand firm in
the faith. When Paul was in prison, he did not allow those circumstances to
dictate his usefulness for the Lord. He wrote four of the most powerful
epistles in the Bible while in prison: Colossians, Ephesians, Philippians,
and Philemon. We need to use that example and not allow our circumstances to
dictate our usefulness for ministry.
- 1 Th 3:9 (KJB)
- For what thanks can we render to God again for you, for all the joy
wherewith we joy for your sakes before our God;
- Paul here exercises great joy before God because he canít even think of
what he could possibly give to God in thankfulness for the keeping and
growing of the Thessalonian Christians. Even among all the suffering that
Paul was encountering, the good report that he received had filled him with
joy. This is a great principle for the Christian. Whenever we are facing
some kind of distress in our lives, it always seems in the midst of those
trials, God will always send some good news about something. He does this
because He wants us to know that we will not always suffer and that the
works we have done in His name has not been done in vain. Sometimes in the
midst of trial, receiving good news helps to reduce the impact of whatever
tribulation we might be going through. He also wants us to know that He will
never forget us, even though we are going through much tribulation at the