Wednesday, May 13

Trouble!

Scripture: 1 Chronicles 22-24, 1 Thessalonians 3

Observation

In 1 Thessalonians 3, Paul describes his concern for the Thessalonian Christians and their faith.  He sent Timothy to visit them, and rejoices over the report Timothy brought back.  Notice these things:

First, the Thessalonians were going through trouble, and the context indicates that it was persecution and opposition because of their faith.  Paul acknowledges that this trouble could threaten their faith, which is why he sent Timothy to strengthen, encourage and keep them from being shaken.  Paul also reminded them that we were destined for this trouble, and that he had warned them beforehand—this opposition was normal and to be expected.  But Paul was deeply concerned for them (“we could stand it no longer; we could bear it no longer”) that “the tempter had gotten the best of them and our work was in vain.”  Trouble can disrupt and unsettle us.

Second, Timothy had returned from visiting them with a positive report: their faith was strong and they were standing firm in the Lord—exactly the news Paul was praying for, and it brought him great encouragement and great joy.

Application

While Paul was speaking specifically of persecution for the faith, any kind of trouble can be unsettling and can shake our faith.  Jesus promised that we would have trouble in this world (John 16:33) but He has overcome the world.  Paul promised that everyone who wants to life a godly life will face persecution or opposition (2 Timothy 3:12).  James tells us that “trials of many kinds” will test our faith (James 1:2-3).  And Peter warned that we should not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come to test us (1 Peter 4:12).

Trouble tests our faith.  It reveals how deep our roots are, how sturdy our faith is, our strong and stable we are in Christ.  

How is your faith?

I find myself in this time being more irritable, more edgy, more easily frustrated.  That’s understandable—especially for a cooped up extrovert!  But I keep coming back to Jesus, drawing near and asking for His help.  I hope you’re doing the same!  I want my faith and yours to grow during this time of trouble.

Also, is there someone you need to call and check on—just like Paul checked on the Thessalonians to see how they were doing?  Make the call.   Let’s help each other get through this and come out stronger!  

Prayer: Lord, I pray for us…help us thrive in the midst of trouble.  Help us build a strong and sturdy faith that only gets stronger in trouble!