It is easy for the servant of Christ to bear afflictions or persecutions, when he finds the good success of his ministry which is the sure result of sowing in love, and the constancy of those who have accepted Christ under their ministry. Let there be the same mutual love between all Christians that, with their teachers in the Lord, they may be established unblameable at the coming of Christ.
I Thessalonians 3
1 Wherefore when we could no longer forbear, we thought it good to be left at Athens alone;
2 And sent Timotheus, our brother, and minister of God, and our fellowlabourer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you, and to comfort you concerning your faith:
3 That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto.
4 For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know.
5 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.
6 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:
7 Therefore, brethren, we were comforted over you in all our affliction and distress by your faith:
8 For now we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord.
9 For what thanks can we render to God again for you, for all the joy wherewith we joy for your sakes before our God;
10 Night and day praying exceedingly that we might see your face, and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith?
11 Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto you.
12 And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you:
13 To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.
I Thessalonians 3:1 – J. Vernon McGee
I Thessalonians 3:2 – J. Vernon McGee
I Thessalonians 3:3 – J. Vernon McGee
I Thessalonians 3:4-13 – J. Vernon McGee
I Thessalonians 3:13 – J. Vernon McGee
1 Thessalonians 3:1-13 – Awakening Thanksgiving and Intercession
At the outset observe that Timothy is described as a fellow laborer in the gospel of Christ. What a wonderful phrase, and yet it is applicable to all true workers for God! Think what it must have been for a young artist to be permitted to collaborate with Michelangelo! No thought of his own comfort interfered with Paul’s efforts for the young churches he had planted; he was only eager that they should be established and comforted amid the storm of persecution that swept over them. There is only one path for the followers of Jesus, and it is lined with flints and flecked with blood.
Though the waters surged up to Paul’s heart, he could bear anything, if only his work stood fast. What he suffered was as nothing compared with his joy at the stability of his charges. As he wrought day and night at his handicraft, so he prayed day and night for them. The stitches put into the tent cloth were accompanied by the holy threads of prayerful intercession. He only longed that Christ would make a straight thoroughfare to them, and would keep them blameless and strong. —Through the Bible Day by Day
I Thessalonians 3:3—No man should be moved by these afflictions: for… we are appointed thereunto.
We all love the sunshine, but the Arabs have a proverb that “all sunshine makes the desert”; and it is a matter for common observation that the graces of Christian living are more often apparent in the case of those who have passed through great tribulation. God desires to get as rich crops as possible from the soil of our natures. There are certain plants of the Christian life, such as meekness, gentleness, kindness, humility, which cannot come to perfection if the sun of prosperity always shines.
We often shrank from the lessons set us at school, and looked out of the windows, longing for the hour of release. But now how thankful we are for the tutors and governors, appointed by our parents, who kept us steadily at our tasks. We feel almost kindly to the schoolmaster or mistress that we dreaded. And, similarly, one day we shall be glad for those hard lessons acquired from the horn-book of pain. “We have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, [who chastens for our profit,] and live?” (Hebrews 12:9).
The tears of those who suffer according to the will of God are spiritual lenses and windows of agate. As the weights of the clock or the ballast in the vessel are necessary for their right ordering, so is trouble in the soul-life. The sweetest scents are enly obtained by tremendous pressure; the fairest flowers grow amid Alpine snow-solitudes; the rarest gems have suffered longest from the lapidary’s wheel; the noblest statues have borne most blows of the chisel. All, however, is under law. Nothing happens that has not been appointed with consummate care and foresight. (Meyer)