I Thess 3:1-5: “Therefore, when we could no longer endure it, we thought it good to be left in Athens alone, 2 and sent Timothy, our brother and minister of God, and our fellow laborer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you and encourage you concerning your faith, 3 that no one should be shaken by these afflictions; for you yourselves know that we are appointed to this. 4 For, in fact, we told you before when we were with you that we would suffer tribulation, just as it happened, and you know. 5 For this reason, when I could no longer endure it, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter had tempted you, and our labor might be in vain.”
Paul when he was away from the Thessalonians felt they needed someone to help them through their hard times. Paul was concerned for these brothers and sisters in the faith. He was worried that the trials and persecution would shake their faith. Being a person of encouragement is one of the greatest tasks a Christ-follower can do.
We often go through many trials and tribulations and they are difficult and hard. However, each trial that we go through makes us that much more experienced to reach out to others in their struggle. Our experiences can equip us to relate and reach out to those who need encouragement and strength. Many times God will put certain people in your path that you need to encourage. There are so many people that we come into contact with on a daily basis that need a human touch or a kind word that only you can provide. God provides ministry opportunities throughout our day that we may encourage and share God’s love with someone. We go to our jobs, coffee shops, schools, and grocery stores and meet people everyday who are hurting and need Jesus in their lives. You may be the only Christ-follower that they meet during the day.
Timothy became an encouragement for the church in Thessalonica. We need to be that encouragement to the people in our lives. We need to slow down and be the go between person between them and Jesus. Holding someone’s hand or taking the time to hear somebody’s frustrations can make a huge difference in someone’s life. Slow down and reach out to someone today. You could help them secure their faith, or even lead someone to Jesus. The very idea of encouragement helps us to fulfill the great commission laid out by Jesus to “go therefore and make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit”. It also helps us to fulfill the great commandments of loving the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind; and of loving your neighbor as yourself!
Old Testament: Isaiah 59-61 New Testament I Thess. 4