The letter to the Thessalonians is written in the midst of trial. The Thessalonian Christians faced opposition to their faith in God, and so did the Apostle Paul. And as Paul has written to the Thessalonians, he expresses concern that perhaps the Thessalonian Christians have drifted. One of the things we notice about Paul throughout his writing is that he cares deeply for the Christians that God has allowed him to serve and to impact. He had seen the Thessalonian Christians converted and had a major role in establishing that church. But here he is clearly concerned that in the midst of opposition, perhaps the Thessalonians would not remain fixed on the firm foundation of Christ.
But as Timothy, one of Paul’s co-laborers goes to visit them, he brings back word that they are indeed growing and still have a deep affection for Paul and a love for the gospel that he had preached. And Paul says something very interesting in light of this. He writes in verse 8, “For now we live, if you are standing fast in the Lord.” (English Standard Version) He has such an affection for the people of God, for this congregation that he has been separated from for so long, that he ties their faithfulness to the Gospel in with his very life.
But Paul is a God-centered pastor. He knows that their continued faithfulness depends not ultimately on their own ability or even on his own pastoring, but in the power of God to keep them. That is really the hope of every Christian. How do you know that you will remain in the faith, that you will persevere? It is grounded in the power of God. That is where our chapter concludes, with Paul’s confidence in the Lord: “Now may our God and Father himself, and our Lord Jesus, direct our way to you, and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.” (Verses 11-13)
We meet from 5:00 – 6:30 pm at The Arkansas Dream Center at 1116 Daisy L Gatson Bates Drive in Little Rock for worship. Get directions here or contact us for more info. You can also join us on Facebook Live @RiverCityARP or on YouTube.