1 Thessalonians 3

1 - 2

After we could not stand it anymore, we decided to stay in Athens and send Timothy our brother and God's fellow worker, in the Gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you in your faith.

Those who have real love cannot stand to be separated from each other.

3. We did not want you to be discouraged by the troubles you are having, but to remember to expect these things.

John Bunyan's book, Pilgrim's Progress , reminds us that the lions on each side of the path are chained and cannot touch us.

I have set the LORD continually before me; because He is at my right hand, I will not be moved [shaken]. Psalm 16:8

4. When we were there, we kept warning you that there was going to be trouble, and so it came as you see.

Jesus warned Paul that he was going to go through many trials. Acts 9:16

God uses his Word to warn us of what is coming up ahead.

Moreover, by them Your servant is warned... Psalm 19:11

When God shows us that He will be with us as we go through hard times, it helps us to be strong. God told Daniel

God will open our minds in the last days to understand the warnings He has given in His word.

But as for you, Daniel, conceal these words and seal up the book until the time of the end. Daniel 12:4

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you. Isaiah 43:2

5. This is why, when I could not stand it anymore, I sent Timothy to find out about your faith and to make sure that the devil had not taken away the seed we planted.

Paul may have been thinking here about the parable of the sower. Matthew 13:3 - 8

6. Timothy just came back from visiting you with good news of your faith and your love and that you have happy memories of us and want to see us as much as we want to see you.

Some people are energy givers, and some are energy takers. Paul is saying that the news about the Thessalonians, lifted his spirit.

7 -8

Even though we are in the middle of some problems here, knowing that you are standing strong in the Lord is like a breath of fresh air to us.

After Paul was chased out of town, the Jews would have made life difficult for the church. Paul is happy to hear that they are standing strong.

9 10

How can we ever thank God enough for all the joy we have before Him because of you? We are praying every day and night that we can see your faces again so that we can help you be complete in whatever is lacking in your faith.

People who walk with the Lord have a treasure chest of things that they have learned. They love to give their treasure away to those who need it.

Every scribe who has become a disciple of the kingdom of heaven is like a head of a household, who brings out of his treasure things new and old. Matthew 13:52

For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, so that you may be on a good foundation. Romans 1:11

11 - 12

May God Himself, and Jesus our Lord, bring us back to you! May the Lord cause your love to overflow for each other, and all men, just as we overflow in our love for you!

Love conquers everything! 1 Corinthians 13:8

Many waters cannot drown love. Song 8:7

Love covers a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8

13. May God build a foundation for you, which is holy and blameless in heart and soul, before God our Father. So that you are ready when our Lord Jesus comes with all the set-apart ones!

You have to be with Him in the first place, before you can come back with Him.