6 But Timothy has just now come to us from you and has brought good news about your faith and love. He has told us that you always have pleasant memories of us and that you long to see us, just as we also long to see you.7 Therefore, brothers and sisters, in all our distress and persecution we were encouraged about you because of your faith. 8 For now we really live, since you are standing firm in the Lord. 9 How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have in the presence of our God because of you?
Paul and Silas began the fellowship of believers in Thessalonica. A large number of Greeks, prominent women, and Jews from the synagogue came to faith. (See Acts 17) But a mob of protestors went seeking Paul and Silas. When they couldn’t find them, they dragged a man named Jason, in whose house the believers met, along with some others, before the city officials. They made Jason and others post bond before they were released. Paul and Silas had to leave Thessalonica secretly, in the night, and went from there to Berea.
Paul sent Timothy to see how the fledgling church fellowship was doing, and was encouraged to receive a good report back from Timothy about them. Paul was afraid that in their difficulties, they might fall away from faith. Ever the good pastor, Paul wanted to support them and continue to strengthen them in their Christian walk.
We need people like Paul, those who will buoy us up when we are facing trouble, and who will commiserate with us in our trials. We need friends in faith who will pray for us and keep us going through thick and thin. You know the old adage – if you need a friend, be one. As you seek to support another, you will also find encouragement. May you be a Paul to someone in need!
I pray, Lord, for the networks of friendships within our churches, that they will continue to grow and deepen to the glory of your name. We all have trials that may threaten to undo us. We all have some measure of encouragement to help another. Give me insight, Lord, on who may need what I have to give. This I pray in Christ’s name. Amen.