The Bible passage for meditation, pray and reflection for the week of July 20-26, 2014, is 1 Thessalonians 3:2-5. Paul, along with Silas and Timothy, are writing to the church at Thessalonica. Paul and Silas were arrested and run out of town shortly after they established the church. Paul is anxious to return to the church, but has thus far been prevented from doing so. Instead Timothy was sent to encourage the fledging church.
And we sent Timothy, our brother and God’s servant in [spreading] the good news (the Gospel) of Christ, to strengthen and establish and to exhort and comfort and encourage you in your faith,
That no one [of you] should be disturbed and beguiled and led astray by these afflictions and difficulties [to which I have referred]. For you yourselves know that this is [unavoidable in our position, and must be recognized as] our appointed lot.
For even when we were with you, [you know] we warned you plainly beforehand that we were to be pressed with difficulties and made to suffer affliction, just as to your own knowledge it has [since] happened.
That is the reason that, when I could bear [the suspense] no longer, I sent that I might learn [how you were standing the strain, and the endurance of] your faith, [for I was fearful] lest somehow the tempter had tempted you and our toil [among you should prove to] be fruitless and to no purpose. (1 Thessalonians 3:2-5, AMP)
Paul was concerned! He had not been able to spend the time he wanted with the church and fully establish it, as he did with most churches. In Thessalonica, there was severe opposition to Christians, which is why Paul and Silas were forced to leave. The Thessalonians are being reassured that suffering for our faith is not unusual. We should expect it! We are not going to have a cozy, comfortable life by serving Christ. We are going to have trials and tribulations. Paul knew this and was deeply concerned for the Thessalonian Christians, praying that they would have strength. Paul was also giving them comfort. We do not have to face our trial and tribulations alone! Christ is always with us, as are fellow believers in Christ. As you meditate on, pray over, and reflect upon this week’s verse, consider your life in Christ. Is it comfortable? Are you challenged? Find a mentor or friends who is willing to help you through your trials.