How exciting, Timothy sent by Paul from Athens, finds exactly what he is looking for in Thessalonica; a church with thriving FAITH. I can see Timothy and Paul hanging out late at night in Athens chattering about how the faith and love of the Thessalonians is healthy and well. Paul you would be so proud of these followers of Christ whose faith has not flinched in persecution rather it has abounded. By the way Paul, they remember you kindly and hope to see you soon. Wow! God is giving Paul a peek at his gospel ministry and observing the eternal value of his sacrifice. The good news of Jesus is worth the unwelcome struggles we face, just to see others come to faith in Jesus and grow in worship of God. Paul’s medicine for distress and affliction are lives giving glory to Christ. There is real stress and headaches that accompany the arduous task of proclaiming the gospel of Christ. There are some uncaring wolves roaming about churches injuring sheep. There are constant codes and regulations to meet for state requirements. There are buildings and vehicles that always need TLC. When funds are low there are necessary adjustments in finances. Regardless of these issues when you see one or two growing and excelling in the faith you are comforted. Paul goes to the extent of saying “For now we live, if you are standing fast in the Lord.” Paul sees the work of Christ in others and is thrilled to be alive. It’s the simple things that stir up the joy of Paul and Timothy. A vibrant faith in Christ equipping each disciple in Thessalonica the ability to live radically in their culture brings much enthusiasm to Paul. Paul is so anxious to go and see these believers. In fact he is praying night and day God when can I return to Thessalonica and supply anything lacking in their faith. How inspiring to watch this disciple of Christ who is regularly beaten verbally and physically and yet is still like let’s get back in the ring and keep going. I love Paul’s tenacity and passion propelled by the gospel.
God, so many people of faith that you have brought into my life who have inspired my faith. God thank you for the lives of people whose faith brings me to life again motivating every part of my being to glorify you. Thank you for fellow believers whose walk in Christ is joyful and enthusiastic in spite of much pain and hurt. Your greatness God and Your majesty God drown out the worst that can be thrown at them.