Monday: Paul’s Thanksgiving
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Paul had a tendency toward extra-long sentences.

 

Image © Erik Stenbakken from GoodSalt.com

Second Thessalonians 1:3-10 is a single sentence focusing primarily on events surrounding the second coming of Jesus. The central core of the sentence, however, is not focused on the Second Coming (2 Thess 1:3, author’s translation): “We are obligated at all times to give thanks to God concerning you.” Paul’s comments regarding the return of Jesus (2 Thess. 1:6-10) are part of the reason he thanks God concerning them, the Thessalonians themselves.

Read 2 Thessalonians 1:3, 4. What important spiritual principle do we find in these verses in regard to the question of faith? What happens to faith if it does not grow?


“We are bound,” or “we ought,” to give thanks to God is the main verb of 2 Thessalonians 1:3-10. Paul feels obligated to thank God for the Thessalonians because their faith is getting stronger and stronger. Meanwhile, their love for one another is also increasing, and both verbs are in the present tense in the original. This means that their growth in faith and love was consistent and ongoing. This kind of growth is basic to any healthy church. Like a plant, if a church does not grow spiritually, it will die.

Paul will go on to offer significant criticism of the church in the second and third chapters of this epistle. But he knows that people need a lot of affirmation before they can handle criticism constructively. He provides that kind of affirmation in the first chapter.

One of the reasons for Paul’s affirmations is that the church in Thessalonica is continuing to suffer persecution. He particularly commends their “patience” in affliction. Instead of faith, hope, and love, Paul talks about their faith, love, and patience. Because “patience” here is a substitute for “hope,” it leads Paul into his exposition of the Second Coming later on in the chapter.

The result of their increase in faith and love is that their fortitude in the face of affliction has become a source of boasting for the apostles among all the churches they visit. The Thessalonians have become a model of Christian commitment under fire.

How can trials and affliction increase our faith? At the same time, who hasn’t struggled to maintain faith preciselybecause of trials?

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Monday: Paul’s Thanksgiving — 6 Comments

  1. Paul was just full of thanksgiving, I think its because gratitude is the memory of a glad heart. The message he received about the thessalonians was a good one, so Paul now showed his own gratitude that is, thanksgiving because as the lord redeemed you then speak out. So, let's learn to show gratitude or thanksgiving these days. Remain bless amen.

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  2. It is important to note that not only those who do not know God will meet His wrath but also those who may know Him but not obey His commandments.

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  3. Even as humans, we feel so terrible when people refuse to appreciate good things we've done for them. How much more God?
    We should learn to show gratitude. God bless you all.

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  4. It is important that we grasp and apply the concept that we are obligated, or it is our duty to give thanks to God our Father at all times and in every situation. That can be a very difficult thing to do, but as we increase in understanding of the Father, we increase in faith, which causes our love to increase towards Him and each other! As it is said in the lesson without growth comes death. The Word is alive in every sense, as when we study with ferver and application, It comes alive in us! God help us to seek Him in all things that He may reveal to us His Perfect Will, God bless and keep us all until that Great Day....

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  5. How would you feel if someone sent a letter to you thanking God for you, boasting of you and telling you that they were praying for you? We could all use this kind of mail.

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