A few weeks ago, New Life Christian Church began a series of messages on the Thessalonian church. We called it, “Dream Church.” The Thessalonian Christians remain to this day some of the greatest examples of what a church and followers of Christ should look like.
So far, we have seen some pretty great things about these disciples from Thessaloniki (I was informed the original spelling is with a ‘ki’ not a ‘ca’). They were reaching the unreached, they spread the message of Christ all through Greece and beyond. They were following their leaders well and they believed in God’s Word. They really were an amazing group of people. Then we get to 1 Thessalonians 2:14-3:13. I had the privilege of speaking (you can find that message on the New Life website) on this particular section. In this particular passage we said, the dream church overcomes troubles. I expanded on that in the lesson to say, “The dream church overcomes troubles by standing firm in the Lord our God.”
After I had taught that lesson to our Centreville campus and then our Haymarket campus the following week, I got to thinking more abou the topic. I tried to answer the question, “What does it look like practically to overcome troubles that we face as followers of Christ?” The Thessalonian church was going through persecution. It’s somewhat safe to say that some had died for their faith. Paul knew full well what type of persecution the Jews were capable of, as he was once himself the leader of that very persecution. So what does it really take to overcome troubles? And I don’t mean minor inconveniences like; I accidentally left my cell phone at home today or I forgot I have no milk for my cereal. I mean serious troubles that cause us to doubt our faith and to doubt our God. It’s the big stuff in life that crashes in on us and sometimes it leaves us pretty beaten up.
How do you make it through life when a family member suddenly passes away unexpectedly?
How do you stand firm in your faith in God when your company goes out of business and you’re left without work?
How do you continue to trust in God when you are upside down on your home and can’t take care of your own family?
How do you stand firm in God when you can’t even stand up under the heavy hand of abuse?
Some people are really going through a lot. Life isn’t easy and often times, it isn’t fair.
I want to suggest one way to overcome these types of troubles.
You need a Timothy!
You need a Timothy in your life.
Paul goes on to write in chapter 3 of 1 Thessalonians that he was sending Timothy back to the Thessalonians to strengthen and encourage them. Timothy will ultimately come back with an encouraging report about these followers of Christ.
I would suggest that you need someone in your life that you can share everything with. Someone who knows what’s going on in some of your darkest places. This is the person you can call at 2:00 am when you are about to make a bad decision. It’s the person who can call you at any moment and ask how things are going? And ultimately, it’s the person who encourages you, journeys through life with you and is a shoulder to lean on when you need it most. And yes, even sometimes, there to tell you when you’re being an idiot and you need to screw your head back on straight. Because sometimes we need that too (at least I do).
The Bible is filled with stories of people who had their “Timothy” in life.
David & Jonathan (and Nathan that one time).
Ruth & Naomi.
Paul & Silas.
Peter & Mark.
Life is meant to be done together, in community with others. Too many followers of Christ are going it alone. And to be honest, that’s sad. So stop doing life by yourself.
Stop trying to make it through everything on your own strength.
Find yourself a Timothy.
Utilize the strength and wisdom of another person to help you overcome when Satan is throwing his best stuff at you.
What other things can you think of?
What troubles have you overcome and how?
Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.