1 Thessalonians 3:2-5 KJV
And sent Timotheus, our brother, and minister of God, and our fellowlabourer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you, and to comfort you concerning your faith:
That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto.
For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know.
For this cause, when I could no longer forbear, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter have tempted you, and our labour be in vain.
Paul's preaching would certainly not be popular today as he warned people that they must suffer. But knowing that it must happen in no way created in Paul apathy towards it. He sent Timothy to Thessalonica, he said, for three reasons:
- To establish them
- To comfort them and
- To know their faith
Trial is a part of life and it is most surely a part of faith.
- In some cases trials cause people to shrink back
- In other cases it causes them to quit completely, but
- In the best cases trials bring growth and elevate faith to new levels
The answer to the challenges of trial is not to protect a person from them, for then we would never see the fruit of those whose trial brings such amazing growth. The answer is
- To care for the one in trial
- To seek to establish and strengthen them in their trial and then
- To be a comfort for them as they endure their trial