ENCOURAGED BY YOU
Thank You, God, for those who have joined me in the journey with You.
Read 1 Thessalonians 3:6–13
Timothy’s Encouraging Report
6 But Timothy has just now come to us from you and has brought good news about your faith and love. He has told us that you always have pleasant memories of us and that you long to see us, just as we also long to see you. 7 Therefore, brothers and sisters, in all our distress and persecution we were encouraged about you because of your faith. 8 For now we really live, since you are standing firm in the Lord. 9 How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have in the presence of our God because of you? 10 Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you again and supply what is lacking in your faith.
11 Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus clear the way for us to come to you. 12 May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. 13 May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectImagine the joy of receiving a letter from a loved one or flipping through photographs of favorite memories.
Last week I received a card in the mail from a close friend. On the front of her card was printed ‘dream big.’ Inside, she had written words of love and affirmation. Our friendship was strengthened and I felt upheld. Similarly, further ignited by the news Timothy brings of the Thessalonians (6), Paul’s tenacious and heartfelt delight in them and in their faith continues, providing him with comfort in the midst of pain (7).
We are not just following Jesus as individuals: we journey as a community (Romans 12:9–16). We need others around us as we seek to remain faithful to the call of God on our lives, and as we abide in Christ (John 15). Without reserve, the love expressed in Paul’s letter overflows impulsively into a beautiful prayer of blessing for the Thessalonians (11). He prays that they would experience a surplus of God’s love (12). It is a prayer that, out of this abundance (12) and out of their hope in Jesus’ return (13), they would impact those around them.
Not every church community is as blessed with the freedom to worship as many of ours. Pray for the persecuted church today. You could use the words of 1 Thessalonians 3:12,13 to begin.
God, I pray for Your Church, worldwide. Strengthen and encourage Your children today. Show them Your faithfulness.