Just a quick reminder, we’re having a meeting after 2nd service ( 1-18-08 ) for anyone interested in getting an update on Eastgate finances, hearing our present state and future plans, and meeting the supervisors of the various ministries we have currently in place. Hope you can make it.
This Sunday we’ll be reading all of 1 Thessalonians 3. Also read it in The Message version.
In this section, Paul is recounting why he sent Timothy to them, what he heard from Timothy that encouraged him, and what his prayers are for them. In this section, we get an insight into what Paul was concerned about for them as they went through the hardships of persecution for their faith….and I believe his concerns reveal some truths we need to keep in mind concerning the troubles WE face, as 21st Century, American Christians.
In v1-3, Paul is relieved that they weren’t thrown by the fact that they faced troubles. He reminds them about the reality of hard times…what does he say about them? How do we apply that to our OWN lives, as we face hardships?
In v4, Paul is relieved that their troubles didn’t result in something undesirable. What is it? What does that encourage us to be on guard about when we face difficult circumstances?
In v5-9 Paul goes over the good report that Tim gave him…and in v11-13, he tells the Thessalonians what he’s praying for concerning them. What is the heart of his prayer, in v12? What do we take then, as the priority of our journey, even in hard times?
Stuff to think on. See you Sunday!
2 thoughts on “Truths About Troubles”
During this time of great struggle and suffering, I find it interesting – though I guess it shouldn’t be altogether surprising – that Paul is praying for them to love even more. He doesn’t pray that the struggles will bring more Thessalonians to Christ or that they will weather it without suffering or harm, but that they continue to love recklessly and openly and endlessly.
I know when times get tough for me, I begin to operate quite self-centrically. I interpret the obstacle as a signal for me read the Bible more, pray more, or focus on God more – all good things, but not the things that Paul is praying for them to do. Ironically, I tend to simultaneously shut people out of my life when things get tough, rather than invite them in and love them.
I think Paul was trying to tell us that we need to encourage each other when we go through difficult times. When we praise God, epecially during the difficult circumstances, we change our focus to giving God the glory, through His son, Jesus, our King. I wanted to encourage you all as I have been encouraged with Psalm 16 (The Message):
A David Song
1-2 Keep me safe, O God, I’ve run for dear life to you.
I say to God, “Be my Lord!”
Without you, nothing makes sense.
3 And these God-chosen lives all around—
what splendid friends they make!
4 Don’t just go shopping for a god.
Gods are not for sale.
I swear I’ll never treat god-names
5-6 My choice is you, God, first and only.
And now I find I’m your choice!
You set me up with a house and yard.
And then you made me your heir!
7-8 The wise counsel God gives when I’m awake
is confirmed by my sleeping heart.
Day and night I’ll stick with God;
I’ve got a good thing going and I’m not letting go.
9-10 I’m happy from the inside out,
and from the outside in, I’m firmly formed.
You canceled my ticket to hell—
that’s not my destination!
11 Now you’ve got my feet on the life path,
all radiant from the shining of your face.
Ever since you took my hand,
I’m on the right way.