Paul will move from talking about how he shared the gospel, to how they received it. As we examine their response, in light of our own purpose of finding hope in uncertain times, we recognize a few elements that added depth to the faith of the Thessalonian Christians.
In V13, what is Paul stoked about concerning them? What did he mean, in his writing, by the “Word of God”? What do we apply to our own lives of faith from this verse?
V14-16 describes some of the things that resulted in believing Paul’s message. It wasn’t rest on soft pillows…what was it? Sometimes we can think we did something wrong when we face hard times…but v14 puts a different light on hard times and the struggles we face for our faith. What comfort can we draw from v14? (read it in the Message)
v17-20 tells of Paul’s great love for the Thessalonians, and his frustration at not being able to return to them. V18 is a standout in that section. In one verse, with a few words, Paul indicates the scope of all the events that have unfolded. This is much bigger than magistrates and Synagogue leaders. Who opposes Paul? Who is the enemy? Does he win?
Stuff to gnaw on.