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We could not bear it any longer. He felt like a father separated from his children. Satan had made it impossible for Paul to go to them (1 Thessalonians 2:18). So, he will stay in Athens and send someone else.
While we send Timothy. Whatever Satan was doing did not make it impossible for Timothy to go to assist and strengthen the church at Thessalonica.
So that none of you should turn back. Persecution placed terrific pressures on the Christian. “Turning back” to the world would eliminate these pressures, but bring God’s wrath. Such persecutions are part of God’s will for us. Compare Matthew 10:34-39; Hebrews 12:5-11. The struggle is important! Remember: the unbelievable conditions before the Flood, produced eight righteous people (1 Peter 3:20).
We told you ahead of time. He had prepared them for the persecution which would come. (Compare notes on Revelation 6:3-6.)
Surely it could not be. There was a real possibility the false teachers might succeed in convincing them that Paul really did not love them, and there was no reality to the salvation which Paul preached. Perhaps that’s why Jesus said to make people his disciples (Matthew 28:19-20), and then to teach them to obey all he has commanded.
To us from you. Timothy met Paul at Corinth (Acts 18:5) with a good report. [This implies Paul wrote them from Corinth.]
We have been encouraged. He is filled with joy that they are faithful to Christ! (Compare 2 John 1:4.)
Because now we really live. This “good news” about their faith has given him “new life!” If you stand firm. This is really his confidence speaking, convinced they will go all the way with Christ.
Now we can give thanks. That is, how can we be thankful enough for our great spiritual joy which you have made possible by your faith!
Day and night we ask him. This shows how much he wanted to see this group of people who had heard the Good News from him. And supply what is needed. Just coming out of idol worship, they had much to learn about the One True God. Paul wanted to teach them more truth, so they could “go forward” to spiritual maturity (see Hebrews 6:1-3).
Prepare the way for us. He appeals his case to God, asking that he may be allowed to visit them once more. He was allowed to do this (Acts 20:1), but it was three or four years later.
Grow more and more. Love is even more important than faith or hope (see 1 Corinthians 13:13). Whether he sees them again or not, he prays God will make their love grow!
He will make your hearts strong. Love makes us “unshakable!” See Romans 13:8.
These files are public domain.
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on 1 Thessalonians 3". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 14 / Ordinary 19