Paul Sends Timothy
Verse 1 – Therefore, when we could no longer endure it, we thought it good to be left in Athens alone,
Paul couldn’t go to the Thessalonians, so he sent Timothy to them. It is not stated why Paul couldn’t go himself.
Verse 2 – and sent Timothy, our brother and minister of God, and our fellow labor in the gospel of Christ, to establish you and encourage you concerning faith,
Verse 3 – that no one should be shaken by these afflictions; for you yourselves know that we are appointed to this.
Verse 4 – For, in fact, we told you before when we were with you that we would suffer tribulation, just as it happened, and you know.
Verse 5 – For this reason, when I could no longer endure it, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter had tempted you, and our labor might be in vain.
The Thessalonian believers were being persecuted by false teachers and the Jews, just as the other churches had been, but Paul referred to them as the “tempter” which is Satan. Satan can affect both the physical and spiritual world. Paul was afraid, because of this, that some might be tempted to stray. He wanted someone that was strong in their faith to teach and guide them.
Timothy’s Encouragement Report
Verse 7 – Therefore, brethren, in all our affliction and distress we were comforted concerning you by your faith.
Just as Paul was concerned for the believers at Thessalonica, we should be that concerned about someone we lead to Christ. New believers always need to be encouraged. They need to know that, “yes” it’s not going to be easy but to stand fast, because the reward is so much greater than anything they might have to give up.
Verse 8 – For now we live , if you stand fast in the Lord.
There is that word “if” again. Believers bring joy to their pastors, ministers, and teachers, when they see a believer growing and maturing in their faith. We all should let that little word “if” sink in. “If you stand fast in your faith.” In other words, “If you maintain a close relationship with your God.”
Verse 9 – For what thanks can we render to God for you, for all the joy with which we rejoice for your sake before God,
Verse 10 – night and day praying exceedingly that we may see your face and perfect what is lacking in your faith?
Verse 11 – Now may our God and Father Himself, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way to you.
Verse 12 – And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you,
Verse 13 – so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.
Holiness and blameless are a matter of the heart. Christians are to live their lives in such a way that accusations will merely fall to the ground. Our conduct and behavior does matter and it matters how we treat others. We are to let the Holy Spirit teach us how to love others and then we will watch it flow beyond borders.