Welcome back! This is our study of chapter 3, so if you missed 1 or 2, be sure to go back and check those out! Once again, here are the five steps we are using for this study:
- Read the chapter through
- Pick a key verse for the chapter
- Summarize and discuss each verse
- Apply it to our lives
- Pray specific things from what we learned
So, to begin, let’s read chapter 3:
1 Therefore, when we could no longer endure it, we thought it good to be left in Athens alone, 2 and sent Timothy, our brother and minister of God, and our fellow laborer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you and encourage you concerning your faith, 3 that no one should be shaken by these afflictions; for you yourselves know that we are appointed to this. 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. 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.1 Thessalonians 3
6 But now that Timothy has come to us from you, and brought us good news of your faith and love, and that you always have good remembrance of us, greatly desiring to see us, as we also to see you – 7 therefore, brethren, in all our affliction and distress we were comforted concerning you by your faith. 8 For now we live, if you stand fast in the Lord. 9 For what thanks can we render to God for you, for all the joy with which we rejoice for your sake before our God, 10 night and day praying exceedingly that we may see your face and perfect what is lacking in your faith?
11 Now may our God and Father Himself, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way to you. 12 And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you, 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.
A key verse for this chapter could be:
And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you,1 Thessalonians 3:12
Let’s take a closer look at each verse now:
- After a while, Paul decided to stay in Athens where he was, but…
- He sent Timothy in his stead to Thessalonica in order to encourage them and to help establish them.
- They did this so that Paul could once again have contact with them and be reassured of their conviction, and so that they may have help to remain strong.
- Paul told them that they would all suffer trials, himself included.
- Paul could not take it anymore, so he sent Timothy to them to know whether or not his work there was in vain.
- Timothy returned to Paul bearing a good report about the Thessalonians. They had continued in good faith and love, and had, as Paul did for them, a great desire to meet again.
- Despite their persecution and other problems, they were comforted in hearing this good report.
- Paul seems to feel like they have new life, new vigor in their work, knowing that the Thessalonians have remained faithful.
- Paul feels he cannot thank God enough for the faith of the Thessalonians and the joy it brings him.
- Paul prays constantly for another chance to see them and to help them on their Christian journey.
- He asks God that they may be able to return to them.
- He prays that God may help them to grow in their love for one another and to all they may teach.
- He prays that God may help them to be blameless and holy when Christ returns.
Paul was a busy man. He was not able to be with every group of saints at all times, no matter how badly he wished he could have been. Even though he couldn’t be there, he still did everything he could do to check on them and ensure they were remaining faithful. Specifically, he wrote letters such as this one, sent other men like Timothy to go in his stead, and prayed for them unceasingly. We should take his example in doing all we can for others we know are in need, and individuals we may be helping to seek Christ.
Take time today to pray some specific things based on this study:
- Pray that we work hard to spread God’s word as much as we can to all that we can.
- Pray that we may do bold things like call, write, and message, those who may be far away, but may still need encouragement and instruction.
- Pray constantly for all who are in need, especially those in need of finding Christ, and those who have found Him and need more encouragement.
Thank you so much for reading and studying with me! This has been so helpful to me so far, and I hope that it has encouraged you. Please feel free to comment your thoughts below, or contact me through the “Contact” page in the menu if you have any questions or concerns about this study. Stay tuned for chapter 4!