Further Study: Joyous and Thankful
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“The arrival of Silas and Timothy from Macedonia, during Paul’s sojourn in Corinth, had greatly cheered the apostle. They brought him ‘good tidings’ of the ‘faith and charity’ of those who had accepted the truth during the first visit of the gospel messengers to Thessalonica. Paul’s heart went out in tender sympathy toward these believers, who, in the midst of trial and adversity, had remained true to God. He longed to visit them in person, but as this was not then possible, he wrote to them.

“In this letter to the church at Thessalonica the apostle expresses his gratitude to God for the joyful news of their increase of faith. . . . ‘We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers; remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father.’

“Many of the believers in Thessalonica had ‘turned . . . from idols to serve the living and true God.’ . . . The apostle declared that in their faithfulness in following the Lord they were ‘ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.’ “-Ellen G. White, The Acts of the Apostles, pp. 255, 256.

Discussion Questions:

  • Dwell more on the question of role models, other than Jesus. What advantages and disadvantages come with them?
  • Paul spends a great portion of this letter giving thanks to God for the Thessalonians. What role can, or should, thanksgiving play in our worship experience, both personally and corporately?
  • If people around you were looking for evidence of your church’s faith, what would they find? How could, or should, things be different?
  • Why is affirmation of others so important? At the same time, why must we be careful as we do this?
  • Think through again how important the doctrine of the Second Coming is to our faith. What good reasons do we have for trusting in something that’s so radical, that’s so unlike anything that has ever happened before?

Summary: Paul found much joy in offering thanks to God for the abundant evidences of His work in the lives of the Thessalonian believers. In sharing the content of his prayers with them, Paul hoped to motivate them to continue growing in the faith and in their outreach efforts toward others.

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Further Study: Joyous and Thankful — 5 Comments

  1. Once again, this study is so very timely and important to me. A new acquaintance of mine just told me it gave her so much joy to see someone actually living the faith!! And how it helped hers to grow and take her up from the despair and depression she'd been suffering from.

    Praise the LORD!

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  2. God is working in many ways to save all of us, and it could be through myself, us or someone else. Be joy and thankful is an act of faith that we have as those who claimed to be Christians in action.

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  3. What does it mean when Paul in verse 4 says we are chosen and then earlier in the bible (Joshua 24:15) we are told that the decision is ours?

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    • The decision is your. But Jesus chosen us for salvation, because he did all for us to died in the cross.

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