Caring for others
Finally, when we could stand it no longer, we decided to stay alone in Athens, and we sent Timothy to visit you. He is our brother and God’s co-worker in proclaiming the Good News of Christ. We sent him to strengthen you, to encourage you in your faith, and to keep you from being shaken by the troubles you were going through. But you know that we are destined for such troubles. Even while we were with you, we warned you that troubles would soon come—and they did, as you well know.1 Thessalonians 3:1-4 NLT
From the text, Paul was very much concerned about the spiritual maturity of believers in Thessalonica. He was not sure if they would be able to firmly stand when confronted with difficulties in life. Since he could not go and visit with them, he sent Timothy. We have here in these passages an example that we need to follow. We should not only be concerned about our own spiritual welfare and condition. We need to be concerned as well to the spiritual growth of others. We are admonished to look also for the interest of others. “Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too” (Philippians 2:4). When Jesus was carrying the cross, he saw women who were crying. Then He told them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, don’t weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children” (Luke 23:28). The Lord Jesus Christ told the women to be concerned for the spiritual welfare of others especially their children; to prepare them so they could stand during difficult times. Difficult times will come in the life of believers. “For if these things are done when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?” (Luke 23:31). Christians are destined to face trials and Timothy was with them so he could provide them the encouragement that will sustain them and not be shaken by those trials. Paul’s message was not like the message in modern times that Christianity is all about prosperity and success. Suffering and persecution proved to be parts of the experience of every believer. So, when we go through times of difficulties, we should not doubt our faith, instead, let us focus that faith to God who is with us and ask Him to strengthen us. Our Lord Jesus Christ, even in the time of His own suffering still finds an opportunity to pray for His disciples. Jesus prayed to the Father on behalf of His disciples; “I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one…Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth” (John 17:15, 17). Even in our time of difficulties, let us not stop caring for others.