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We are encouraged and energized by those led to Christ.

Encouraged and Energized by Those Led to Christ!

We are encouraged and energized by those led to Christ.

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: Therefore, brethren, we were comforted over you in all our affliction and distress by your faith: For now we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord.” (1 Thessalonians 3:6–8)

Ministry to the Lord is always engaging. There is never a lack of excitement when serving the Lord. One of the remarkable things about ministry is the many people you meet. Many of the people that you serve alongside become dear friends. In fact, we are often reminded in the New Testament that we are more than just dear friends. We are family. Thus, there are many joys and benefits to serving the Lord. One of those benefits is the deep relationships formed with other fellow believers. We are encouraged and energized by those led to Christ.

This week’s text recounts a relationship between Paul and the believers of Thessalonica. Yes, there were many battles, trials, and tribulations for Paul and the believers in Thessalonian. We know that Paul was forced to flee the city due to great persecution. Since that time, he has been concerned for those who did believe. With Timothy’s report, he was relieved knowing they were standing firm in their faith. It encouraged him greatly, knowing their faithfulness to God.

The Report

It is always refreshing to hear reports from those you have ministered to. Timothy’s report brought back the following great news. First, they continued to have great faith and love for the Lord. This news stands out the most. There is no greater joy than to hear that those you have led to the Lord continue to abound in their faith and love for Him. Second, just as he often thought of them, they, too, thought much about him. I would imagine that those thoughts came with prayers. As a result, Paul remembered and prayed for them. By the same token, they remembered and prayed for Paul. It is good to lift each other up to the Lord in prayer. Third, the Thessalonican believers desired to see Paul just as much as he wished to see them. Each longed to be in the other’s presence to rejoice, praising God for His faithfulness.

The Result

What was the result of this excellent report by Timothy? Note the Holy Spirit says he was “comforted.” Paul was encouraged. Obviously, Paul knew the scope of persecution these believers were facing. Such knowledge naturally led to his concern for their spiritual well-being. Now, as he heard Timothy’s report, he was greatly encouraged. God was with them. They were growing. Yes, the affliction and distress were real. They endured much. Yet, the trying of their faith fertilized their spiritual growth. It strengthened their faith in the Lord. They were living testimonies of James 1:3-4.

Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” (James 1:3–4)

There was an additional by-product of their testimony. Note verse 8 of our text.

For now we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord.” (1 Thessalonians 3:8)

Paul was invigorated by their report. It provided new energy. He was now ready to “stand fast in the Lord.”

As I stated at the beginning, one of the great benefits of ministry is the positive reports of growth by those you have ministered to. It is good to hear how God is using them. There is no doubt that each of us is a simple instrument of God. Yet, as human instruments, we also become personally involved in the lives of others. Seeing a soul come to know Christ and receive eternal life is a beautiful experience. It encourages and energizes us to hear the testimonies of their faithfulness. Aftwards, we can invest ourselves in their lives, helping them grow spiritually. Then, if they remain faithful, as did the Thessalonian believers, we rejoice when they persevere and become valuable instruments for Him. Our investment is His investment. Our reward is His reward. He takes pleasure in those who faithfully serve Him. We, too, take pleasure in seeing others in whom we invested our time serve Him as well.

Let me challenge you to seek out those who led you to Christ and those who disciple you. Take the time to tell them about your faith in the Lord. Let them know that you are thinking of them and praying for them. If you will, you provide them with the encouragement they need. It will also energize them to go forward for the Lord. They will be reminded of this great principle found in 1 Corinthians.

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 15:58)