Read 1 Thessalonians 3:1-13
I’ve had the blessing of working with young people at Living Word Academy for a number of years now. I’m often blessed and encouraged to see and hear them talk about ways they have overcome. I’ve seen young students struggling to show self-control finally have a “good” day here and there, then every week, then several times a week. They eventually put their struggles behind them. I’ve seen students who struggled to pass tests try new strategies for studying, work diligently at them, and begin to have great success. I’ve seen students who were withdrawn, sad, and distant become happy, well-adjusted, and involved after giving their lives to the Lord. Time and again the example of these young people has bolstered me and given me strength, whether they realize it or not. I know I’m not the only staff member to feel the same way.
Paul, Silas, and Timothy, felt an intense appreciation for the Thessalonians. They even went so far as to describe the Thessalonians as their “glory” and “joy” at the end of I Thessalonians chapter 2. These 3 brothers had labored on behalf of the Thessalonians and loved them very much. They were worried for the Thessalonians spiritual well-being after being separated from them while they experience persecution. In v. 5 of chapter 3 Paul and Silas are frank that they began to have some doubts that the Thessalonians would endure their trials. How Paul and Silas were strengthened when they heard about the Thessalonians’ strength and courage and endurance! Paul, Silas, and Timothy explain how they were given life, even in the midst of their own afflictions, because of the Thessalonians’ example of “standing firm in the Lord.”
Saints, when you “stand firm” in the Lord others WILL be encouraged! How could those who have invested their time in you not be encouraged? When your pastor, elder, brother, or sister, sees your faithful endurance, they cannot help but be encouraged themselves. So stand firm in the Lord!
Lord, give me strength to stand firm in you like the Thessalonians. I want to be an encouragement to those around me, including my pastors and elders.