A thought on 1 Thess 2-3.
For once Paul’s worry is unfounded. He has been praying for the Thessalonians knowing they’ve been facing the same opposition from their own people that the churches in Jerusalem and Judea had faced from the Jews, and he is worried that their faith will start to falter. So, he sends his friend and apprentice Timothy, expecting to hear the worst about the Thessalonians’ faith. But Timothy’s report is encouraging. They have indeed stood from in the face of persecution and are eager to keep praying for Paul and to see him. This is a cause for rejoicing:
How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we feel before God because of you? (1 Thess 3:9)
Often our default is moaning – even after we have had something to rejoice about we focus on what we haven’t got, or what we need next. Thankfulness and rejoicing are usually fleeting. There is always something ‘wrong’, a little niggle, or something bigger to complain about.
Let’s be more serious about thankfulness. For now, what can we rejoice before God over?