We may often take our Christian duties for granted, but remaining faithful to the Lord can end up being an unforeseen spiritual boost for a brother or sister in Christ who is going through a hardship in their lives. This is what Paul expressed to the Thessalonians when he wrote to them as he was enduring a trial of severe persecution for the gospel. He said to them:
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: Therefore, brethren, we were comforted over you in all our affliction and distress by your faith: For now we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord. 1 Thessalonians 3:6-8
The faith and unconditional love displayed in the actions of the Thessalonians and their demonstrated affection for Paul ended up being just what he needed. As spiritually advanced and mature as the apostle was, he was still human and needed encouragement from other saints. If it was true for Paul, it’s true for us as well no matter how long we have been in Christ.
Through their spiritual consistency, Paul expressed how comforted he was by their unwavering faith. He was experiencing affliction, denoting a hardship directed at him from other people, and he was in distress, a troubled feeling inside himself he was dealing with that most likely came about partly over concern about if and when and how God would deliver him and his companions. The good news Timothy shared about the Thessalonians was such a boost that Paul and his friends knew they could more easily bear the hardships and continue on (“For now we live”) as long as they were assured the church was standing fast in the Lord.
In conclusion, three prominent principles come to mind in this scripture–namely:
- The importance of believers, no matter their role–small or large, to continue in their godly works regardless of the circumstances.
- The only way to genuinely be in a state of steadfast faith is to be in the Lord, who works in us both to have the will and to do his good pleasure (Philippians 2:13).
- Our actions, whether they are seen as routine and insignificant or extraordinary, if they are done to the glory of the Lord can have a profound unforeseeable positive affect on our brothers and sisters in Christ to supply the spiritual boost they need in the midst of a trial, regardless of what type of trial it may be.