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Facing Temptation and Anxiety in 1 Thessalonians 3

A Video Supplement for
Come, Follow Me Lesson 41:
“Be Not Soon Shaken in Mind, or Be Troubled”

 

 

Transcript

In 1 Thessalonians 3, Paul has been worried for those to whom he has taught the gospel. Verse 4 and 5

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.
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.

Wayment has, for verse 5, “Because of this, when I could no longer bear it, I sent to know about your faith. My concern was that somehow the tempter had tempted you and our labor among you had been in vain.” It sound like some mixture of Paul and those he has taught have been the recipients of difficult circumstances.

In sharing his anxieties, Paul here relates an experience that many missionaries have experienced and can relate to. As they teach people and they begin to progress, those being taught usually face opposition to which they are unaccustomed. When a person begins to turn toward righteousness there is typically a burst of opposition to try them and see if they are determined to follow the Lord but, fortunately, as we are told in James 4:7, ” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” When we are tempted, if we put our trust in the Lord, we can overcome temptation and trials through his help. Again, in 1 Corinthians 10:13, we have, ” There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” God will always provide a way forward, when people repent and put their trust in him. God is faithful. People aren’t always, but God is, and in him we have our support and refuge from all of the oppression of the adversary. In this case, Paul is able to rejoice in those he has taught, because they have been faithful. Continuing with verses 6 and 7,

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:
7 Therefore, brethren, we were comforted over you in all our affliction and distress by your faith:

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