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1 Thessalonians

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©Michael Player

Chapter 3:6-13 (ESV)

Posted on April 27, 2024  - By Chris LaBelle  

Chapter 3:6-13 (ESV) - But now that Timothy has come to us from you, and has brought us the good news of your faith and love and reported that you always remember us kindly and long to see us, as we long to see you— for this reason, brothers, in all our distress and affliction we have been comforted about you through your faith. For now we live, if you are standing fast in the Lord. For what thanksgiving can we return to God for you, for all the joy that we feel for your sake before our God, as we pray most earnestly night and day that we may see you face to face and supply what is lacking in your faith?

Now may our God and Father himself, and our Lord Jesus, direct our way to you, and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.

Question to consider: What do you think Paul meant about supplying what was lacking in their faith?

When the apostle Peter wrote to those from the church formed at Pentecost who were scattered at the stoning of Stephen, he encouraged their faith with the knowledge that many were suffering at the hands of the devil in the same manner as they were, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.” (1 Peter 5:8-9)

In similar fashion, Paul took comfort in knowing that the Thessalonians were standing firm in their faith in the midst of their suffering. It’s not their suffering that encouraged Paul but their steadfast faith in the Lord and love for one another in the midst of it. I think people despair when they believe they are suffering alone or when they feel like their suffering is in vain. Paul endured suffering in order to bring people to Christ— both Jew and Gentile. If they walked away in his absence because life as a Christian was hard, it would have made him wonder if it all was worth it.

What really upset Paul was when people came along to these churches and undermined or perverted the Gospel. Whether it was the “super apostles” swindling Corinth out of money or the Judaizers convincing the Galatians they needed to be circumcised to be a Christian, Paul wasn’t afraid to give a harsh word or even confront another apostle to his face.

I don’t think Paul had anything in mind when he expressed his earnest prayer that he could see them face-to-face and supply what was lacking in their faith. Everyone has something lacking in their faith— some doubt, some discouragement, some satanic attack, some besetting sin, some kind of discord in the church. Paul just wanted to be there for them to help support and encourage them. His benediction to them was beautiful.

He desired for God to move heaven and earth for them to be reunited and for the Lord to increase their love for one another. One day, we will all be reunited with each other in perfect love and with blameless hearts when Jesus returns and fully and finally puts an end to sin and death.


Dear heavenly Father, please connect us with brothers and sisters in Christ with the same desire to love and support one another in the faith. Help us to realize that we are not alone in our pain or suffering, and that we can bear one another’s burdens and experience the joy and peace that only comes from being in a right relationship with You. Amen.