1 Thessalonians 3:1-6: How to Deal with Trials
July 13, 2019
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
Sometimes evangelists present becoming a Christian as an easy option. It is anything but easy, in fact. While it is without doubt true that being a Christian is the very best life now, and for all eternity, it is also true that you must take up your cross to follow Jesus. Indeed, Jesus himself warned his followers that they would face persecutions for following him. The apostle did the same, even as he reminded the Thessalonians that “we kept telling you that we would be persecuted.” Granted the inevitability of some sort of opposition to living the Christian life, how are we to not just survive but even thrive in the midst of difficulties and persecutions? Paul is concerned for the Thessalonians as they face these trials. And therefore, he sends Timothy to them to strengthen and encourage them in their faith, so that they would not be unsettled by their trials, or the devil tempt them away from the narrow way.
Similarly, today, when people are facing difficulties and persecutions, we too are to strengthen and encourage them in their faith. How can we do this? Listen to “Timothys” and be a “Timothy” yourself:
1) Appoint and listen to the “Timothys” in our lives. God still has his advocates, pastors, and shepherds of his people. If you are sitting under the ministry of a faithful teacher of God’s Word, listen to his encouragement and respond to his exhortation to strengthen your faith.
2) You yourself be a “Timothy” to another person. Do you know someone who is struggling? Go to them yourself, visit them, write them an encouraging note, email them an encouraging email, point them to the truth in God’s Word.
It is inevitable that at some point we would face trials and temptation and suffering as a Christian. But what is not inevitable is that we would suffer alone, or without help or encouragement and strength. God has provided his church and his pastors to help us grow in our faith and be strong even in the midst of trials. And we all have a role to play in someone’s life to encourage them too – our children, our parents, our friends, our brothers and sisters. Strengthen and encourage each other’s faith, especially in the face of suffering.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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