December 4, 2014 - When We Could Stand it No Longer

December 4, 2014 - When We Could Stand it No Longer
David Troxler

1 Thessalonians 3

At the time Paul wrote his letters to Thessalonica, he was particularly concerned about them deepening their faith in Christ. After all, we read in Acts 17, that Paul was only able to minister among them over the course of three weeks; hardly enough time to properly disciple them. Paul, along with his companions, were persecuted and forced out of town, down the road to Berea.

Naturally, Paul was distressed over the whole matter. He feared the Thessalonians had strayed from their fledgling faith, or had it corrupted by the persecutors, even as Paul endured his own trials.

Advent is a season of good news. Here in Thessalonians, we read about Timothy, who brought good news from Paul to Thessalonica, and returned to Paul bearing more good news from the Thessalonians. Upon returning to Paul, Timothy brought news of their faith and love. Verse 7 reads, “Because of this, brothers and sisters, we were encouraged in all our distress and trouble through your faithfulness.” (Common English Bible)

Have you ever been the source of joy for someone else simply because you persevered in your devotion to Christ?

That was how the Thessalonians were to Paul. Their faithfulness in the midst of the chaos and distress of the world in which Paul was then persecuted became a place onto which he could hold firmly. Previously, he wondered if he had wasted his time. No longer did he feel this way.

In our world today, it is not hard to find bad news. The distresses and troubles of this age can be all consuming, so much in fact, that some people would choose to succumb to it, drowning in its woes, rather than struggle to stay afloat above the troubled waters of life.

There is good news. We have a Savior who is able to keep us in the faith even when the world around us has none.

There is a Savior
What joys express
His eyes are mercy
His word is rest
For each tomorrow
For yesterday
There is a Savior
Who lights our way

- Bob Farrell, et al

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