As a dad of two students, it's always great to get encouraging progress reports. Paul and his companions devoted themselves to spreading the Gospel and planting churches. Over and over they checked back to see how those churches were doing - getting a "progress report." That is what we see in chapter 3.
“When we could stand it no longer…” is used twice in these first five verses. Paul’s deep love for the Thessalonians drove him to want to see how they were doing. So much so that they left themselves alone in Athens an d sent Timothy to check up on them. Paul & his companions had been suffering persecution (just had he had predicted) but in spite of that, Paul has his ”mind on things above.” – Colossians 3:1-4.
The report they received from Timothy was totally encouraging! It wasn’t a “Hey we’re having fun, we had a church softball game……… but specifically it was their faith & love that Paul was so encouraged by! The church there told Paul that they always have pleasant memories of him and they want to see him just as bad as he wants to see them – wouldn’t that be great to hear!~
All of this caused Paul to “really live!” I can attest to this as well! When someone comes to faith in Christ and begins to mature in their faith that totally ROCKS! And when they stand firm in the Lord in tough times that rocks even more! This is why Paul wrote “How can we thank God enough for you in the presence of our God because of you?” These are the kind of people you want to be around – and that is what Paul is expressing and of course, like classic Paul, when he does get to be around them he’s gonna’ give them some more from God so he can “supply what is lacking” in their faith.
He ends by praying 3 things:
1) That God will provide a way for Paul to get with them
2) That their love will increase
3) That God will strengthen their hearts
*How much do you enjoy fellowship with believers? It’s meant to be an encouraging place where we can experience both love and truth together. What are you & I doing to make that happen in our circles of fellowship? Let’s edify/lift up each other so that we can say like Paul that we can’t stand not hanging out together!
*How’s your faith & love? What is lacking in your life that you need God to supply? Being more loving than judgmental? Perseverance? Knowledge? Wisdom? Ask God to supply it for you today!