When you think of First Thessalonians, think of the Apostle Paul as he taught people in the city of Thessalonica about afflictions.
Key Verse: “That no man should be moved by these afflictions; for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto” (1 Thessalonians 3:3).
Afflictions are sufferings caused by others. It is normal for people in the world to make trouble for Christians. If you love and follow Jesus Christ, some people will afflict you. That is okay. That is what they do. Do not be surprised or fight back. Love those who trouble you. God loves them. He wants to forgive them.
The Apostle Paul told Christians in Thessalonica that they would suffer trouble from people around them (1 Thess. 3:4). The prophets suffered affliction. Jesus suffered affliction. Paul suffered affliction. The churches suffered affliction. (1 Thess. 2:2,14,15).
When I was sixteen years old, I went to a Saturday youth rally. There, I heard the Gospel of Jesus and trusted Him for salvation. That night, I drove home and told my father that I was saved. He said, “That’s nice, Son.” The next day, I told my mother. She looked doubtful and said, “Pfff.” Then, I told my sister and brother-in-law. They said, “You’ll be back with us in a couple of weeks.” Late one night, I told my brother about Jesus. He cursed at me and said, “I have work in the morning. I’ll let you know when I’m ready to hear about that.” (It was okay. I used to curse and make trouble for Christians, too.) Through the years, all of my family came to love and follow Jesus.
The Apostle Paul knew that the Thessalonian Christians would suffer affliction from people around them. They were “appointed” to have afflictions (1 Thess. 3:3). That was okay. It would be worth it to see others saved in Thessalonica.
It’s okay that you are afflicted while serving Jesus. “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12).
Love Those Who Afflict You Today!