Faithlife Sermons

Mutual Encouragement in Tribulation

1 Thessalonians   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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We will see the importance of mutual love and faithfulness for supplying encouragement to God's people.

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Introduction

This morning we studied Paul’s expressions of concern over the Thessalonians.
We will continue along these lines, but with an unexpected turn.
Encouragement in the midst of persecution and suffering can come from:
Knowledge of the scriptures.
Reliance upon the character and nature of God.
Exhortation
Mutual faithfulness
Do we value mutual benefit or mutual comfort?
Hebrews 10:24-25
2 Corinthians 1:3-7
We begin, though, by thinking about the nature of biblical testing.

Concern

Paul concludes this first paragraph by returning to his concern for them.
He did not want them to forget that this was part of living as a believer in the world.
That could have come as a shock to them, but he had prepared them for it.
Now, he had sent them Timothy to remind them of it.
Paul was genuinely worried that under this extreme spiritual test they might have abandoned the faith.
The issue was whether they would abandon the faith or prove to be true believers.
If so, that would have rendered his difficult labor among them for naught.

Comfort

After expressing his anxiety over their condition, Paul know communicates to them the effect of Timothy’s time with them on him.
Timothy reported back to Paul the following:
Your faith
Your love
You have always having a good mention of us.
You are longing to see us just as we also are you.
Knowledge gleaned from this report provided Paul with encouragement.
Paul makes it clear that he is no superhuman.
He is in distress or feeling external pressure.
He also faced tribulation, especially at Corinth where he may be writing from.

The Value of Faithfulness

Paul ends 1 Thess. 3:7 attributed his own encouragement to their faith.
He most likely means their faithfulness despite suffering.
In 1 Thess. 3:8, this takes the form of them “standing in the Lord.”
Paul expresses his encouragement now as “living.”
This will take the form of thanksgiving and rejoicing.
Paul interprets their continued faith as:
A reason to give thanks to God
Rejoicing in front of God.
Praying exceedingly to see them and to furnish the lacking aspects of their faith.
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