Tuesday, August 30, 2022
When reading this chapter, the joy Paul had stood out to me. Paul faced challenge after challenge, obstacle after obstacle as he worked to spread the gospel, yet he is still full of joy.
Paul starts the chapter by talking about how he feared that the Thessalonians would be led astray by the temptations and afflictions they would face. He says that for this reason, he asked someone to report on their faith, hoping that all his work there wouldn’t have been in vain. But when Timothy returned with a report about the Thessalonians, it became clear that they had stood firm in their faith through all the persecution they faced.
In verse 7, Paul writes that he and his companions were comforted by the news that Timothy brought. The good news about the Thessalonians was so great that it provided comfort in the midst of affliction! Paul states that they now really live if the Thessalonians stand firm in their faith. The Thessalonians provided so much joy to the lives of Paul and his companions that it feels like they just started to really live! In verse 9, Paul asks what thanks they can give to God for all the joy he has about the Thessalonians. There is so much joy that he doesn’t even know how to put it into words to thank God. This joy is so overwhelming that he can’t even start to understand how much thanks he needs to give God.
Are you filling others with as much joy as Paul is full of from the Thessalonians? Are those who taught you the Bible filled with joy from the way it has changed your life? Paul’s joy came from seeing that he was able to make this impact on the Thessalonians and that they were able to continue standing firm. We each need to be like the Thessalonians, providing joy to our teachers and others as we continue to walk in the way of the Lord.
Are you filled with joy like Paul? God has provided each of us with much more than we ever deserved. None of us deserve salvation, but God offered it to each one of us. Our lives should be full of joy because of this great gift. I can’t even begin to thank God enough for everything that He has given me!
Paul’s response to this joy is shown in verse 10. He says that he and his companions are earnestly praying that they may see the Thessalonians again and continue to strengthen their faith. He doesn’t claim that his job is now done, as the Thessalonians were able to stand up to opposition. Instead, he says that he wants to visit to teach them even more, to make them even stronger, lacking nothing in their faith.
What is your response to being filled with joy? We need to be constantly giving thanks for all that we have been given, night and day praising God. Are you asking God that you can continue to do the work which He has prepared for you or are you saying that your job is done? This joy should cause you to want to do even more, spreading the good news to all those around you so that they too might experience this joy.
Questions for Reflection and Discussion
- What is the biggest challenge you face in standing firm in the Lord? How can you ask for help from your brothers and sisters in Christ? (If you don’t have a church family yet – make it your first priority to find one!)
- Are there brothers and sisters or children in the faith that give you great joy when you see how they are standing firm in the faith even in the midst of trials? Let them know.
- Spend an extra ten minutes in prayer today thanking God.