Paul had a great love for the believers in Thessalonica and wanted to come back and visit them and encourage them. In 1 Thessalonians 2 he indicates that he was hindered by Satan from coming to see the them. It is wonderful to read in chapter 3 that although Paul was unable to go, he was able to send Timothy. He so cared for those he shared the gospel with that He wanted to remain connected with them. He could have asked Timothy to stay with him, but rather desired to seek after the welfare of others and not just focus on himself. It is also a good example of the believers working together to accomplish what one alone, even Paul, cannot.
Encouragement of Timothy’s Visit
1Therefore when we could endure it no longer, we thought it best to be left behind at Athens alone, 2and we sent Timothy, our brother and God’s fellow worker in the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you as to your faith, 3so that no one would be disturbed by these afflictions; for you yourselves know that we have been destined for this. 4For indeed when we were with you, we kept telling you in advance that we were going to suffer affliction; and so it came to pass, as you know. 5For this reason, when I could endure it no longer, I also sent to find out about your faith, for fear that the tempter might have tempted you, and our labor would be in vain.
6But now that Timothy has come to us from you, and has brought us good news of your faith and love, and that you always think kindly of us, longing to see us just as we also long to see you, 7for this reason, brethren, in all our distress and affliction we were comforted about you through your faith; 8for now we really live, if you stand firm in the Lord. 9For what thanks can we render to God for you in return for all the joy with which we rejoice before our God on your account, 10as we night and day keep praying most earnestly that we may see your face, and may complete what is lacking in your faith?
11Now may our God and Father Himself and Jesus our Lord direct our way to you; 12and may the Lord cause you to increase and abound in love for one another, and for all people, just as we also do for you; 13so that He may establish your hearts without blame in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints.
What a beautiful closing prayer… that YHWH would guide them to be reunited with their brothers and sisters in faith, that the followers of Yeshua would increase and abound in love for one another and all people so that He may establish their hearts without blame in holiness before YHWH. This is a righteous prayer indeed. I am encouraged to pray this for followers of Yeshua and for my family and I invite you to do so as well.
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