SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- Paul writes about his longing to be with the Thessalonians, as well as his joy upon hearing of their continued faith and love.
- It’s the Thessalonians’ faith that gives him joy and encouragement. He loved that these people wanted to know and follow Jesus.
- It seems Paul’s goal in life was to encourage everyone to know and follow Jesus. This led him to go to foreign cultures to tell people about Jesus, to go to prison for sharing Jesus, and ultimately to die for it.
- Paul tells the Thessalonians that he is encouraged that they are standing firm in the face of trials and persecution, and that he had warned them that this would happen.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
- We need to have a passion and goal in life for everyone to know Jesus.
- We need to expect trials and persecution if we are following Jesus.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
- What are you doing to help other people know Jesus? Who are you showing God's love to? Who are you mentioning your faith to? Who have you invited to church in the past week or two? And, more important, what will you do this week?
- Are you surprised when bad things happen to you? Don't be. Being a Christian doesn't give you a free pass from trials or persecution. Instead, it almost invites them. But we can stand strong because of God's strength in us. Pray that God will give you his strength when you need it.