Benefits of suffering


From Bible study notes on 1 Thessalonians 3:1-10, THE BENEFITS OF GOSPEL AFFLICTION

thornsPaul was writing this letter to a group of Christians who were suffering for their faith. He had the privilege of seeing them receive the message of the Gospel in an exemplary way; but now that they were suffering for the Gospel, he was very concerned – being separated from them – that their faith endure. He received the welcomed news that they had indeed endured, and had even grown! This resulted in an outburst of praise from Paul.

This is a very personal and intimate look at the apostle’s love for the people under his care. And in looking at it, we are shown some of the benefits that God can bring about upon His people when they faithfully endure affliction for the sake of the Gospel. We see that God brought about . . .

I. AN EXPANSION OF THE MINISTRY (vv. 1-2).

A. Paul’s great concern for the spiritual condition of the Thessalonians was so great that he was willing to be left in Athens and to send Timothy to find out how they were.B. As a result, the ministry was expanded, and another good minister was put to work.

II. AN ESTABLISHMENT OF FAITH (vv. 3-4).

Paul’s concern was that the Thessalonians should not be shaken or upset in their faith by the afflictions they were suffering. Paul had helped prevent this by . . .

A. Making sure they knew they were appointed to this.B. Warning them that tribulation would indeed come.

C. Confirm it it through their experience.

III. AN EAGERNESS FOR ENDURANCE (v. 5).

A. Twice Paul said that this was because he could no longer endure the depths of his concern (v. 1, 5).B. He sent to know their faith out of an eagerness to see them endure:

1. Concerned that the devil had tempted them.2. Concerned that, as a result, his labor and that of his co-workers had been in vain.

IV. AN ENCOURAGEMENT IN COMFORT (vv. 6-8).

A. He was greatly encouraged by the news from Timothy:

1. Of their faith.2. Of their love.

3. Of their good remembrance of Paul and his co-workers.

4. Of their desire to see Paul.

B. This good news comforted Paul in his affliction and distress

C. His encouragement was wrapped up in the fact of their endurance.

V. AN EXCITEMENT OF PRAISE (vv. 9-10).

A. There is thanks to God for the Thessalonians.B. There is joy before God because of their faith.

C. There is increased intercession for them:

1. To see them.2. To perfect what is lacking in their faith.

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