When we go through difficult times, how do we respond? In 1 Thessalonians 3:1-5 we see something very interesting. Paul was experiencing suffering, which was really not unusual. However, instead of being concerned for himself, we see Paul much more worried about the new believers in Thessalonica suffering as well. He was so concerned that he sent Timothy to them to check on them and see how they were doing.
When we experience difficulty and suffering, generally we tend to think about ourselves first. We want to understand how we can lessen our suffering, or encourage ourselves. Not Paul. Paul was more concerned about how the people were going through the suffering than he was about the fact that they were suffering. He knew suffering would come. He had experienced it several times. He was more concerned that the people not lose their faith or their focus on Christ while enduring the suffering. That’s why he sent Timothy to them. He wanted to encourage them and make sure that they were continuing to hold fast to their faith.
What are we going through? Are we focusing on lessening our suffering or on deepening our faith? Our only focus must be too deepen the faith that we have in Christ and to encourage those around us to do the same.