Daily Devotional in I Thessalonians 3
Paul was going through “afflictions and distresses” (vs. 7). Although the hard times were challenging to him, the faith of the Thessalonians encouraged him. Perhaps it was their encouragement to him that God would use too see the preacher through his tribulations. Perhaps it was the great work for Christ they had done for others that encouraged him. However they showed it, their faith and trust in a living, helping God was a light in his darkness.
We all go through hard times. None is exempt. However, as a Christian we should have great hope that whatever happens to us is in the hands of our great God. Even though it seems like an impossible load we are carrying at times, somehow, if we draw nigh unto God and trust in his leadership, he will guide us safely to the other side. That faith will help when the next trial comes our way. That kind of faith will also show others, that do not have the faith, that there is another way to handle rough times rather than panic and helplessness.
The world has little hope and usually go through hard times all alone; just trusting in themselves and their perseverance to get them through. When they see another person going through what they would have a hard time imagining going through without great anguish, and see that the other is going through the difficult times with confidences and peacefulness, they want to know how a person can go through the trial that way.
The observed peace a Christian displays can be encouraging to others that way. If they find out that the person going through the difficulty successfully is a Christian, it is an example that a living God can help one. It becomes a wonderful, encouraging testimony for the cause of Christ. It can give others great hope when they observe another’s faith. A Christian’s trust in the Lord during the darkest times can also lead others to desire a similar faith in the Lord.
Today’s Thought: If you were accused in a court of law of being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?
Today’s Reading: I Thessalonians 3
1 Wherefore when we could no longer forbear, we thought it good to be left at Athens alone;
2 And sent Timotheus, our brother, and minister of God, and our fellowlabourer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you, and to comfort you concerning your faith:
3 That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto.
4 For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know.
5 For this cause, when I could no longer forbear, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter have tempted you, and our labour be in vain.
6 ¶ 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:
7 Therefore, brethren, we were comforted over you in all our affliction and distress by your faith:
8 For now we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord.
9 For what thanks can we render to God again for you, for all the joy wherewith we joy for your sakes before our God;
10 Night and day praying exceedingly that we might see your face, and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith?
11 ¶ Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto you.
12 And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you:
13 To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints. (KJV)