Reading the Bible today is one of the primary ways God strengthens your heart.
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1 Thessalonians 3 Summary
Paul is writing to the Thessalonians from prison in Athens. Imagine how difficult it was for him, who had planted dozens of churches all over the Roman empire, to not really know how things were going in those churches in which he had invested his blood, sweat and tears. There were no phone calls for advice, Facebook posts with pictures of baptisms and other celebrations, or any other communications. Finally Paul can no longer stand the silence in v5, so he asked for Pastor Timothy to come back with a report on how the Thessalonian church was doing.
After Paul hears Pastor Timothy's good report, it wouldn't be surprising to read of him celebrating a bit, and then moving on to the next project knowing the Thessalonians were doing well. But that's not what he does.
After thanking God for the good news (v9) and he continues to pray even harder for them (v10). An example of how Paul prayed is given in the benediction in v11-13. The point: it's good to celebrate victories God gives the Church, but we must always keep our heads down in prayer and labor for God's people that we will be equipped to face the trials that will come.
Most people often feel pushed around by the chaos and pressures life throws at us. We get a bit of personal insight into Paul's life here in this chapter, and we can see the stress he experienced not knowing how things were going on a day to day basis for the churches he loved so much.
So it makes sense that his prayer for the Thessalonians was that God would establish (NIV: strengthen) their hearts (v13). It's interesting that Paul doesn't implore God to take away the storms and stresses of life, but rather that our faith be strengthened to stand firm regardless of our outward circumstances.
It's also interesting to see the means by which God will answer this prayer. It was through the sending of a preacher, Pastor Timothy, whom Paul sent to establish (NIV: strengthen) them (v2).
You need your heart to be established / strengthened as well. Be reminded that the primary means God uses to accomplish this is by having you read His Word and to listen to it preached often.
AAA Prayer :
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our God and Father who brings us all good things (v11-13)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that God's Word will continue to establish and strengthen your heart.
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: