1 Thessalonians 3: Wonderful News from Thessalonica

Why might Paul have had difficulty accepting his need to remain in Athens?

Author’s Thoughts
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1 Thessalonians 3:1 After wanting to come see you for so long, we finally had to accept our need to remain in Athens.
King James
1 Thessalonians 3:1 Wherefore when we could no longer forbear, we thought it good to be left at Athens alone;

What qualified Timothy to do the work that Paul could not be present to do?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
1 Thessalonians 3:2–3 We sent our brother Timothy, God’s servant and our fellow laborer in spreading the good news of Jesus Christ, to encourage you and strengthen your faith so nobody would be shaken by the troubles we all must face.
King James
1 Thessalonians 3:2–3 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: 3 That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto.

Is it true that everybody must face troubling times? Why?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Matthew 5:45 “Your Father in Heaven causes the sun to rise on the evil as well as the good. He sends rain on both the righteous and unrighteous. You should show kindness as he does.”
1 Thessalonians 3:2–4 We sent our brother Timothy, God’s servant and our fellow laborer in spreading the good news of Jesus Christ, to encourage you and strengthen your faith so nobody would be shaken by the troubles we all must face. When we were with you, we told you that your faith would be tried and you would suffer for Christ’s sake. Now you’ve seen how true those words were.
Hebrews 12:27 As obedient children, endure the hard times, because no loving father will fail to train his children
1 Peter 4:12 Beloved Christians, don’t regard your terrible ordeal as something unusual, because it’s there to demonstrate your faith.
King James
Matthew 5:45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
1 Thessalonians 3:2–4 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.
Hebrews 12:27 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
1 Peter 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:

What are the benefits in “suffering for Christ’s sake”? The liabilities?

Author’s Thoughts
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Job 23:10 God knows where he is taking me, and when the tests are over, my value will be like pure gold.
Romans 5:3 That’s not all we gain. We can even appreciate the blessings of pain and suffering, which prove and strengthen our faith.
1 Thessalonians 3:4 When we were with you, we told you that your faith would be tried and you would suffer for Christ’s sake. Now you’ve seen how true those words were.
Hebrews 12:27 All creation will be shaken so only that which cannot be shaken will remain.
James 1:3–4 Be aware that the painful process produces patience. Don’t be too quick to give up, but allow the situation to bring maturity, strength, and contentment.
1 Peter 1:7 The proving of your faith is more valuable than the purest gold, which is sure to perish, for when Jesus Christ appears, you’ll experience eternal praise, honor, and glory.
1 Peter 4:12 Beloved Christians, don’t regard your terrible ordeal as something unusual, because it’s there to demonstrate your faith.
King James
Job 23:10 But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.
Romans 5:3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
1 Thessalonians 3:4 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.
Hebrews 12:27 And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.
James 1:3–4 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
1 Peter 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
1 Peter 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:

How can the tempter deceive those who have heard the truth?

Author’s Thoughts
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Romans 7:11 Although we were told what to do, we were still deceived into thinking our ways were better, until it was too late.
1 Corinthians 3:18 Quit deceiving yourselves. If you think you are wise by the world’s standards, admit how foolish you have been and become truly wise with God’s truth.
1 Corinthians 15:33 Don’t be misled by listening to the wrong message. Bad company corrupts good character.
Ephesians 4:14 Then we will no longer be immature children tossed about by every wind of doctrine, easily blown in different directions by deceivers who cleverly manipulate lies to look like the truth.
1 Thessalonians 3:5 When I got to the point that I could no longer tolerate not knowing, I sent for news about your faith, concerned that somehow the tempter had deceived you and our labor had been of no lasting benefit.
James 1:14 People are tempted when their desires take them in a direction different from where God would have them go.
James 1:22 Don’t just hear God’s voice as if that’s enough, deceiving yourselves. Listen to him, and then do what he wants.
King James
Romans 7:11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me.
1 Corinthians 3:18 Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.
1 Corinthians 15:33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.
Ephesians 4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
1 Thessalonians 3:5 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.
James 1:14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
James 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

Why was Paul so concerned about the spiritual welfare of the believers in Thessalonica?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
1 Thessalonians 3:5 When I got to the point that I could no longer tolerate not knowing, I sent for news about your faith, concerned that somehow the tempter had deceived you and our labor had been of no lasting benefit.
King James
1 Thessalonians 3:5 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.

What might Paul’s reaction have been if the news he received from Timothy was less positive?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
1 Thessalonians 3:6 When Timothy returned with the wonderful news of your faith and love, that you had fond memories of our ministry there and wished you could see us again, we wanted even more to come see you.
King James
1 Thessalonians 3:6 But now when Timotheus came from you unto us, and brought us good tidings of your faith and charity, and that ye have good remembrance of us always, desiring greatly to see us, as we also to see you:

How do some people’s faith strengthen others who are suffering?

Author’s Thoughts
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1 Thessalonians 3:7–8 My friends, your faith has strengthened us in the stress and suffering that we must endure. We are energized by knowing you stand firm in the faith, trusting the Lord.
King James
1 Thessalonians 3:7–8 Therefore, brethren, we were comforted over you in all our affliction and distress by your faith: For now we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord.

Why do people rejoice in the success of others?

Author’s Thoughts
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1 Thessalonians 3:9 Words can’t express our gratitude for what God has done in your lives, for our joy is boundless as we live in God’s presence.
King James
1 Thessalonians 3:9 For what thanks can we render to God again for you, for all the joy wherewith we joy for your sakes before our God;

Of what value were Paul’s prayers to go to Thessalonica?

Author’s Thoughts
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1 Thessalonians 3:10 Day and night we pray to see you and fill some void that might be lacking in your faith.
King James
1 Thessalonians 3:10 Night and day praying exceedingly that we might see your face, and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith?

Under what conditions can we expect God to guide our steps?

Author’s Thoughts
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Psalm 37:23 The steps of righteous people are directed by the Lord, and they love to walk with him.
Proverbs 3:6 Let the Lord guide everything you do, and he will keep you on the right path.
1 Thessalonians 3:11–12 May Father God and our Lord Jesus Christ direct every step of your journey. and increase your love, not just among yourselves but abounding toward others, just as we have done for you.
King James
Psalm 37:23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.
Proverbs 3:6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
1 Thessalonians 3:11–12 Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto you. And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you:

What can make our hearts pure and blameless in God’s sight?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Acts 15:8–9 God, who knows every person’s heart, gave them the Holy Spirit the same as he did for us. He made no distinction between them and us, but saw their faith and cleansed their hearts.
1 Thessalonians 3:13 When our Lord Jesus Christ comes with his people, may he find your hearts pure and blameless in the sight of God our Father.
James 4:8 Move closer to God, and he will move closer to you. Wash your hands of wrongdoing and purify your hearts with good motives. Don’t live a double life, but have a single focus upon what the Lord wants.
King James
Acts 15:8–9 And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; 9 And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.
1 Thessalonians 3:13 To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.
James 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.