Therefore, brothers and sisters, in all our distress and persecution we were encouraged about you because of your faith. For now we really live, since you are standing firm in the Lord.
1 Thessalonians 3:7-8 (NIV)
Read: 1 Thessalonians 3
Consider: It is amazing that Paul writes to the Thessalonians in these terms, particularly when he and his companions have suffered such hardship because of their faith. Paul writes about distress and persecution (this can be read about elsewhere in the New Testament – especially in Acts).
Paul tells the Thessalonians that he and his companions are encouraged because of the Thessalonian believers’ faith and that they ‘really live’ because the Thessalonians are ‘standing firm in the Lord’.
It is too easy for church members to expect to be encouraged by their leaders (and rightly so), and to forget that they should be an encouragement to their leaders. I don’t necessarily mean the encouragement given after an uplifting sermon, or worship session (although even pastors need this encouragement too). What is being talked about here is the encouragement a church leader takes when the members are standing firm in their faith and growing more mature in their understanding. This is a real joy to any church leader.
Pray: Father, may our lives be so centred on you that we are an encouragement to our church leaders. Amen