For this cause, when I could no longer forbear, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter have tempted you, and our labour be in vain. ~1 Thessalonians 3:5
Have you had times in your life when your emotions were so bottled up within you that you felt like you were going to explode from within? Paul speaks twice of being no longer able to forbear. This means he couldn’t bear holding inside what was building up. He was alone at Athens and very burdened about the welfare of the new believers at the church at Thessalonica. He was concerned that Satan would use persecution to discourage the faith of these new believers. This morning, let us see how God works in those situations of our life when we feel like we can no longer forbear, or keep from exploding.
We see the grief.
Paul had a special love for the believers at Thessalonica. He had a pastor’s heart for their spiritual development, protection, and welfare. He was grieved by the suffering they were going through. He was also grieved by the afflictions and suffering that he went through. His personal afflictions made it dangerous for him to be with his friends at Thessalonica. The time away from them burdened him for their souls. Each day became more intense and heavy. He couldn’t bear the thought of them falling away, giving up, and being hurt. He was about to explode from the built-up emotions and needed to know how they were doing.
We see the greeting.
“But now when Timotheus came from you unto us, and brought us good tidings of your faith and charity, and that ye have good remembrance of us always, desiring greatly to see us, as we also to see you.” Paul couldn’t go see his friends, but he could send a coworker who could go on his behalf. He sent Timothy to strengthen them and see how they were doing. Timothy brought a good report of their faith and love. In fact, Paul’s friends had the same strong concerns for Paul as he had for them. Timothy’s greeting was an encouragement and relief. God always has the right message at the right time for us when we think that we are about to explode.
We see the growth.
“Therefore, brethren, we were comforted over you in all our affliction and distress by your faith: For now we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord.” Paul was encouraged that the faith of his friends grew during the time of tribulation. The faith of the Thessalonians gave Paul renewed focus and fire. In 1 Thessalonians 3, he refers to their faith five times. First, it was a godly faith. They were building upon their most holy faith by the Word of God and prayer. Second, it was growing faith. They were growing in spite of Satan’s attacks. They were growing in spite of adversity. They were growing because they were determined to dig their roots deep in Jesus. Third, it was a glowing faith. These believers caught what they were taught. They evangelized and won souls to Christ. When we hear of the growth of those we love, this does much to settle our hearts from exploding.
We see the grace.
“Therefore, brethren, we were comforted over you in all our affliction and distress by your faith.” God’s grace was made strong in Paul’s weakness. He went from being ready to explode to being comforted. God’s grace worked abundantly in Paul in producing peace, comfort, and satisfaction. When you’re about to explode, let God’s grace work in and through you to settle and comfort you.
Have a comforted God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: 2 Chronicles 32-34