Strengthened and Encouraged

From Lynda Lindsey

 We sent Timothy, who is our brother and God’s fellow worker in spreading the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you in your faith, so that no one would be unsettled by these trials. I Thessalonians 3:2-3(a)

For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into His kingdom and glory. I Thessalonians 2:11-13

May he (the Lord) 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. I Thessalonians 3:13

Involved in a job that’s overwhelming? Tasked with a responsibility that’s seemingly greater than your abilities? Engaged in a project that saps all your strength and energy? Everyone understands the need to be strengthened and encouraged. To have support and relief. To be heartened and emboldened. Paul and Timothy are master encouragers. The young church at Thessalonica, filled with sincere, but still immature, believers, was experiencing persecution and trials; Paul and Timothy come alongside to strengthen and encourage the converts.

What strengthened and encouraged the Thessalonians also strengthens and encourages us today. What enables us to live lives worthy of God? The gospel message comes to us not just with words, but also with power from the Holy Spirit; the Lord Himself strengthens our hearts to receive and believe with conviction. The Bible encourages, strengthens, and equips us for good works; all Scripture is God-breathed and teaches, rebukes, corrects and trains us in righteousness. The acts and words of faithful gospel-tellers encourage us to continue in the faith. Involvement in a community of believers keeps our faith strong.

Proper perspective encourages us. Satan is real and although he is powerful, he is not all powerful. Satan is a defeated foe; beware of attributing more power to him than is Biblical. Greater is Jesus in us than he, Satan, in the world. Pray. Unceasingly. By day and night. In season and out. Finally, instead of focusing on current trials and hardships, focus forward. Jesus is coming again. And when He comes with all His holy ones let us be found holy, blameless, righteous in His sight. Don’t be unsettled by trials. Be strengthened and encouraged. Scripture points the way.

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