Today’s thought “When in need of encouragement” (May 18)

Today’s thought

“When in need of encouragement”

(May 18)

Yesterday we could see in his letter to the Thessalonians that Paul could find encouragement by the believers there of which he had many positive things to say, rather in contrast to the Corinthians. Though it appeared that there were also those in Thessalonica who were slandering Paul for what he had not only taught them, but also for his motive and method of delivering it. Therefore Paul also feeling in need to answer them by pointing out that he only wants to deliver the message which is the Gospel which came from Christ. The motive in delivering it was most unselfish, and the method he used was not unlike a father toward his own children, and that it was above reproach

English: Ananias restoring the sight of Saint Paul
Ananias restoring the sight of Saint Paul (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Together they could experience how under the surveillance of Christ they could develop and grow in the Body of Christ. Paul wanted to let the Thessalonians know that his visit to them was not a failure [without results; in vain; Acts 17:1–9]. That it was not useless and fruitless we can find in other Bible texts and in civil writings of that time.

For our exhortation[a] is not from[b] error, nor from impurity[c], nor in[d] deceit. (1 Thessalonians 2:3 Disciples’ Literal New Testament)

We do know that there was Jewish opposition at Thessalonica in as such that Paul was even driven out of the city to avoid that he would speak to the gentiles (1 Thess 2:14-16). This aversion against his preaching worried Paul. The apostle Paul was concerned that the afflictions which came upon him and his co-traveling apostles of Christ could shake the faith of the people around him. He therefore took steps to prevent that.

that no one might be disturbed[a] by these afflictions. For you yourselves know that we are appointed[b] for this. For even when we were with you, we were telling you beforehand that we were going to be afflicted, just as indeed it happened, and just as you know. For this reason, and I bearing it no longer, I sent Timothy so as to know your faith— that the one tempting had not somehow tempted you and our labor proved-to-be in vain[c].

  1. 1 Thessalonians 3:3Or, shaken, moved.
  2. 1 Thessalonians 3:3Or, destined.
  3. 1 Thessalonians 3:5That is, without lasting result.]

(1 Thessalonians 3:3-5 Disciples’ Literal New Testament)

While Paul and Timothy had much in all of their trouble [distress] and suffering [trials; persecution] in common with fellow brethren and sisters they were pleased to find a community in which they also could be encouraged [comforted; reassured] about them because of their faith.

And Timothy having just-now[a] come to us from you, and having announced-the-good-news to us as to your faith and love, and that you have a good remembrance of us always[b], yearning to see us just as we also you— because of this, brothers, we were encouraged over you in all our distress and affliction, through your faith. (1 Thessalonians 3:6-7 Disciples’ Literal New Testament)

What we can notice today is that many missionaries, fieldworkers and preachers all over the world somehow seem to have moments of frustration and/or doubt if their work is reaching enough people. For us preachers it can be frustrating at moments when we do not receive any positive response. In our love for Christ we love to continue the work for Christ and our heavenly Father, but as human beings we are also sensible to the world, who is not any more interested in the One behind our world and life.

Problem also today is that we need money for everything, and not many are willing to share with us or to donate for our work. All the necessary tools for our preaching (having a space to preach or offer a service, using the internet, having a place and a roof above the head to live) cost money. Like the apostles in their time we too have to work for our living, next to our preaching. Full time workers have not much time to do (the unpaid) work for God and when retired, those willing to preach still need to do some extra hours (of worldly work) to gain enough to survive.  Sometimes that can be a burden and when not seeing much result from the preaching work, it sometimes can become very frustrating.

Our life being really full we love to keep encouraging others to stand strong [firm; fast] with us, in the Lord. We cannot thank God enough for, even when it is not always easy, we may feel that in God’s presence we may find those who want to listen to the Word of God and want to walk with us, as members of the Body of Christ.

Night and day we continue praying with all our heart [most earnestly] that we can see others who found Jesus Christ and came under him. Us being able to share with them, keeps us also going, like it did with the first followers of Christ.

We may take steps to ensure the spiritual well-being of those who are being afflicted and tested in their faith, but what of those who are just observers of these things? Do we support them? How we should be is described in the following passages.

24 But I am making my life of no account[a] as to value to myself so-as to finish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus— to solemnly-testify to the good-news about the grace of God. (Acts 20:24 Disciples’ Literal New Testament)

Continuing to live on this earth is not even a factor Paul considers, as he focuses on finishing his course for Jesus. In his work and that of his fellow brethren and sisters in Christ, we should gain hope and encouragement.

So Abound In The Work of The Lord; Your Labor Is Not In Vain

58 So then my beloved brothers, be[a] steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not empty[b] in the Lord. (1 Corinthians 15:58 Disciples’ Literal New Testament)

Let us be confident, trusting the Most High, that He will guide us and give us the courage to continue to go forward in this God unloving world, so that we may spread the Good News of the coming Kingdom of God, and here and there may touch some hearts and get some fire burning, making that people come to find the Way to God.

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Preceding articles

Dealing with worries in our livesThe Right One to follow and to worship

Believing in the send one and understanding that one does not live by bread alone

Lost senses or a clear focus on the one at the stake

Leading with Fear: Gathering or Scattering?

Today’s thought “Ability to receive ableness from God” (May 11)

Today’s thought “Ability to see that God is not dead” (May 12)

Today’s thought “Ability to assemble” (May 14)

Today’s thought “Death by being taken captive” (May 15)

Today’s thought “Clothing yourselves with the right attitude” (May 16)

Today’s thought “Let’s be examples of disciples who spread the word about their Master” (May 17)

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Additional thoughts

  1. Ability
  2. Ability (part 2)
  3. Ability (part 3) Thoughts around Ability
  4. Ability (part 4) Thought about the ability to have ability
  5. Ability (part 5) Thought about the abilities to be under God’s Spirit
  6. Ability (part 6) Thought about the ability of God’s Provision Bringing Glory
  7. Ability (part 7) Thought about the ability to grow as a member of the Body of Christ
  8. When having taken a new direction in life, having become a Christian
  9. Be not afraid of those trials which God may see fit to send upon thee
  10. Judge every preacher by his preaching the gospel of your salvation
  11. All human teaching passes away
  12. Back from gone #2 Aim of godly people
  13. Philippians 1:3–6 – Partnership in the Gospel
  14. Philippians 4:4–7 – Do Not Be Anxious
  15. As Christ’s slaves doing the Will of God in gratitude
  16. A love not exempting us from trials
  17. Disappointed expectations
  18. Character is built
  19. Faith and trial
  20. Faith a commitment to the promises of Christ and to to the demands of Christ
  21. A Living Faith #4 Effort
  22. Rejoice even though bound to grieve
  23. We are to be joyful in the midst of our trials
  24. Partakers of the sufferings
  25. The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong
  26. Members of the ecclesia uniting and seeking God’s help in tribulation

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Further literature of interest

  1. Pt. 1: In the Absence of Light
  2. Your life wasn’t supposed to be this way. You find yourself tired, stressed out, broken down and stuck.
  3. Seeking God Intentionally Will Make Changes in the World
  4. A Pocketful of Promises
  5. As One Approved…
  6. Jesus Gift: The Chance to Rest in the Abundant Life
  7. Stay The Path {Book Review}
  8. ​Encouragement for May 17, 2017
  9. Do you know how fast God can run?
  10. Forgetting…
  11. Everlasting love
  12. Abundance 
  13. Transforming Loss
  14. May 17, 2017
  15. Talking with everyone- including her family!!!!!
  16. Pastor Daniel and Ruth’s story
  17. Heroes
  18. “Why Me?” Or should I ask “Why not Me?”
  19. Another Month Down
  20. Word To Guide My Feet
  21. You can’t missionise people, then accuse them of cultural appropriation
  22. Corinna Shattuck – Heroine on a Mission
  23. Missionary Journals and a Rhetoric of Rescue: The Church of England Zenana Missionary Society and India’s Women (1880-1940)
  24. A Heart for Missions 2
  25. [Book Review] Serving as Senders Today
  26. When It’s Hard to Want to Want to Be Back [at A Life Overseas]
  27. “Why So Many Idlers?” 04/25

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