1Therefore when we could bear it no longer, we were willing to be left behind at Athens alone, 2and we sent Timothy, our brother and God’s coworker in the gospel of Christ, to establish and exhort you in your faith, 3that no one be moved by these afflictions. For you yourselves know that we are destined for this. 4For when we were with you, we kept telling you beforehand that we were to suffer affliction, just as it has come to pass, and just as you know. 5For this reason, when I could bear it no longer, I sent to learn about your faith, for fear that somehow the tempter had tempted you and our labor would be in vain.In 1Th 3:1 Where I read "Therefore when we could bear it no longer, we were willing to be left behind at Athens alone", I learned through the commentaries at e-sword, that what the ESV translates as "bear it no longer" the KJV translates as forbear And I learned this from the Jamieson, Fawcett and Brown Commentary
forbear — “endure” the suspense. The Greek is literally applied to a watertight vessel. When we could no longer contain ourselves in our yearning desire for you.Paul could hardly contain himself. His concern for the Thessalonican people was so great that he just had to send Timothy to find out what was going on. His need to know of them was greater than his need to have his companion stay with him. So he sent Timothy off to Thessalonica to find out what was going on. Timothy's job was simple enough :) He was to "establish and exhort you in your faith, that no one be moved by these afflictions".
Timothy was to help build up the Thessalonican church. To help it resist the effects of persecution so that no-one be torn away by what they were going through. He would help make the church stronger (established) and he would exhort them (teach them, encourage them) in their faith.
Paul reminded the Thessalonican's that they knew persecution would happen. He had told them
For you yourselves know that we are destined for this. For when we were with you, we kept telling you beforehand that we were to suffer affliction, just as it has come to pass, and just as you know.So they knew, but none the less, Paul found it best in his heart to send them encouragement, so he sent Timothy to them. This would ease his heart about what may have happened to them when they faced temptation. Did they stand firm or had the tempter succeeded in tempting them you and therefore making their labor among them in vain?
I read these words and I think....this is kinda what we do when people are in struggle isn't it?
- We let them know we care.
- We encourage them to keep on keeping on in the faith.
- AND if it is necessary we exhort them....we remind them what they believe in and hold them to it. We build them up in the Lord as it were.
I should do likewise.