Paul was worried about the brethren in Thessalonica. He barely had any time with them before circumstances have driven him from the city. Paul had wanted to return to them but Satan had kept that from happening. All he really wanted to know was ‘were they faithful”?
Finally, when he receives the news from Timothy that yes they were Paul is overjoyed. It had been a tough time for him. Mistreatment, suffering, accusation, setbacks had plagued his efforts. Yet when he hears from the brethren are on the right track, he is comforted. He says in 1 Thessalonians 3:7-8, “for this reason, brethren, in all our distress and affliction we were comforted about you through your faith; for now we really live, if you stand firm in the Lord.”
Do you want to make a minister quit? Do you want to break an elder? Do you want to burn out a preacher? It’s not the long nights or the hard choices that do it. It isn’t tight budgets or difficult questions. Sure those can wear you down and make things hard, but it’s when the people you are serving give up that you want to too.
When a person leaves the church they don’t just hurt themselves. They harm everyone that has tried to teach and guide them along the way.
Yet when a person is found faithful, that’s when they really live. It restores purpose, it gives inspiration it provides comfort.
It has been easy over the past year to get out of the habit of assembling together. Don’t just think of yourself in that situation, however. Your faithfulness might be what helps the church to have life.
Your absence may just kill it.
Hope church of Christ