Imagine losing contact with someone you love and not knowing how the person is doing. Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy had lost all contact with the Thessalonian believers. They knew of the difficulty and persecution, but they didn’t know if the new believers would stand strong in their faith. So they decided to send Timothy and were relieved to hear his good report. Our faith, too, is tested and refined through the challenges we face. In this lesson, we will look at the reality of affliction, the necessity of community, and how God enables us to endure tough times.
• Recall the most difficult experience you have had. How did you stand fast in your faith. What enabled you to endure?
• How do you think the Thessalonian believers felt when they saw Timothy return, heard of Paul and Silvanus’s concern, and received their letter? Why do you think we can endure difficulties with the support and love of a spiritual community? How will you apply this in your life today?
• Who can you pray for this week, with the same urgency and fervor as in this letter? Who do you long to see face to face and supply what is lacking in their faith?