Look around. See the people? See the trouble? Step in. Act. Strengthen. Encourage. Now. In this world we will have trouble, yet we are to take heart because Jesus has overcome the world. And we are to step in to strengthen and encourage each other within the trouble!
2 We sent Timothy, who is our brother and co-worker in God’s service in spreading the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you in your faith, 3 so that no one would be unsettled by these trials. For you know quite well that we are destined for them. 4 In fact, when we were with you, we kept telling you that we would be persecuted. And it turned out that way, as you well know.
“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death…
Timothy was sent to the Thessalonians to strengthen and encourage them. They needed it because of trials they suffered at the hands of other people in their region who hated Christians and wanted to stop the spread of the gospel of Jesus. They were, Paul writes, ‘destined’ for such trials.
Paul said, “We told you we would be persecuted.” We told you. In fact, Jesus told us this long before Paul said it. In this world we will have trouble, yet we are to take heart because Jesus has overcome the world.
Timothy was sent to encourage and strengthen them in this trouble. To remind them that Jesus has overcome the world. To remind them that this is a fellowship in the suffering of Jesus. Why would that make things better? I am suffering like Jesus suffered. That’s what you are telling me? How is that going to make things better?
God understands. That’s the point. God understands your situation and has been through worse in the person of Jesus. And so, God can comfort and guide and strengthen you in your need.
We need to be reminded of this truth. We need Timothy’s to come and remind us of this. Which brings me back to you and me.
When you see the mess and the trial and the trouble in the lives of people around you, are you willing to be Timothy? Are you willing to be and encouragement and strengthen people? Would you?
Look around. See the people? See the trouble? Step in. Act. Strengthen. Encourage. Now…