BRP Insight Post for Monday, June 24, 2019
This week we’ve jumped into 1 Thessalonians and are reading Paul’s letter to the young church in Thessalonica. Paul had established this church during his second missionary journey and at the time of this letter, their community of believers was probably just a few years old. He wrote to encourage and strengthen them in their faith journey and to challenge them to hold to Jesus, no matter what may come their way.
If you remember from Acts 17, Paul traveled from Thessalonica to Berea where trouble broke out again and he was taken to Athens, leaving Silas and Timothy behind. Silas and Timothy later joined Paul in Athens and then Timothy was sent back to Thessalonica to check on the new believers. Persecution and suffering were very real dangers in the early church and Paul wanted these followers, who were so new in their faith in Jesus, to be encouraged to stay the course.
I think it’s just human nature to think that if we are on the right track in the way we live our lives that things should just work out. We view suffering in such a negative way that it feels like something is “wrong” when we are going through it. Did I not hear God correctly? Am I doing something that’s outside of His will? Those are definitely questions we should be asking ourselves, but suffering and bad things happening in our lives are not necessarily indicative of being off course in our faith. Sometimes, God allows the hard things to come our way to strengthen our faith and help us grow closer to Him.
When life seems easy and I’m not experiencing any trouble, I can get complacent about my relationship with God if I’m not careful. But when I’m feeling desperate and in pain, He is a priority as I cry out to Him. It’s so important to build that foundation with Him that gives us the strength to draw from when life’s inevitable troubles come our way.
A couple of things that Paul letter to this young church has me thinking about are 1. What are the things I’m doing to invest in my own spiritual growth – how am I feeding myself consistently, so I’ll grow? And 2. How am I investing in those around me that are young in their faith or have not found a relationship with Jesus yet? The answers to these questions really matter.
Executive Director of Education and Outreach