1 Thessalonians 3: Support Each Other
Paul was a realistic man. He understood that the church in Thessalonica had undergone persecution, and in 1 Thessalonians 3, he expresses his concern that perhaps some of them had fallen away because of that.
1Th 3:4 For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know.
1Th 3:5 For this cause, when I could no longer forbear, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter have tempted you, and our labour be in vain.
1Th 3:6 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:
Vigilance is important. I do think that part of the Christian mission is to support the community, and when we go through difficult times, we need to make sure that we provide comfort and encouragement for each other.
Paul saw what was happening in Thessalonica. He knew that circumstances can cause people to doubt. We see it happen all the time, and Paul did not want that to happen. As a result, he sent a message to evaluate how well they were doing. If there was a problem, he wanted to address it.
I know that many of us are not necessarily great with words. Maybe we feel intimidated about comforting people because we don’t necessarily know what to say. However, it seems to be part of what Paul did for this church, and it therefore seems to be something that might be good for us to do. Maybe we don’t exactly know what to say when someone needs support, but if we remember that God is with us and that we do have an obligation to our Christian community to be supportive where we are able to, then maybe when that persecution does come, we will remain strong rather than fade away.