Paul begins his second letter to the church in Thessalonica. A few things have changed since his last letter and he needs to address them. But first he wants to give them a warm spiritual hug.
First things first, Paul insures that those reading this letter know who it is from. By the end of this letter we will learn that there appeared to be false letters out there. Paul wanted to make sure those reading knew who was writing. All three of these men were familiar with this group and this group familiar with them.
Paul’s “spiritual hug” gives the church in Thessalonica an assurance that they have been doing what Christ commanded of them. They are growing in the faith. In fact their faith is being held up to the other churches as an example to follow after. “We ourselves boast about you in the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith in all your persecutions and in the afflictions that you are enduring” (verse 4).
Satan is throwing all he can at them with little effect. They keep on loving one another and working for the gospel. Their faith is not swayed by the persecution they are facing but we will see that it is being impacted; later.
I would love to have that as a testimony to my faith. That it is being held up as an example before others. We know they were not perfect but they endured with style. I wonder if it was because they were following the closing instructions from Paul’s last letter to them. “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
Thank You Father for examples to follow. Thank You for caring so much for this little group of people. I don’t know the number of those in this group but I know they were numbered in Your Kingdom. That is all that counts. To belong to You and NOTHING Satan can do about it! Sometimes You calm the storm and sometimes You calm Your child. The Anchor HOLDS!