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Not a Failure

Not a Failure

Words of Faith 3-6-19

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2019

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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1 Thessalonians 2

    You know, brothers, that our visit to you was not a failure. [2] We had previously suffered and been insulted in Philippi, as you know, but with the help of our God we dared to tell you his gospel in spite of strong opposition.

 

        It would be nice if everything always went smoothly and wonderfully.  But ministry is not always that way.  Things had not ended smoothly in Thessalonica.  Paul and his fellow missionaries had been run out of town.  They had started out reasoning with Jews at the local synagogue.  Some had believed along with some God-fearing Gentiles.  (Acts 17:1-9)

       The movement then became a house gathering in the home of a fellow named Jason.  Finally, Jason and several others were arrested and dragged before the city council.  Only after they posted a bond promising not to host Paul and the others were they released.  The missionary team snuck out of town at night knowing that they could never return or else Jason and the others would lose everything including Jason's house.  What a mess.

      No wonder Paul wrote to reassure the believers in Thessalonica that the brief but tumultuous visit to their city was not a failure.  This was not an empty effort!  In fact, they actually had been treated worse in Philippi where they had caused a riot, got flogged and thrown into jail, caused an earthquake, busted out of jail, converted the jailer and his family and then left town (Acts 16). It was almost as if Paul was saying, "Don't worry about the setbacks and opposition. We have had worse than that and God will handle it."

      The significant piece of encouragement for the believers at Thessalonica was that "with the help of our God we dared to tell you his gospel in spite of strong opposition.”  The Gospel of Jesus was not going to be stopped.  There was no turning back.  The Gospel of Jesus will not be stopped. We need to hear that today.

       We live in a world of strong opposition.  Even in the so-called free world, there is room in the modern public arena for every religious view... except for the Gospel of Jesus.  There are entire religions devoted to erasing the cause of Jesus.  There is open hostility in the civilized parts of the world and brutal persecution of the Gospel in the less civilized corners of the earth.  What would Paul say?  With the help of our God, we can dare to tell His gospel in spite of strong opposition.

       Are you facing some strong opposition to the truth of Christ?  Are you dealing with harsh criticism, unfair treatment, censorship of the truth, or political maneuvering?  Have you had falsehoods said about you or gossip spread?  Have you been rejected at places where all others receive an open welcome?  You are not alone.  You stand along with Paul, Silas and Timothy and many others. 

      The great promise here is that God is bigger than any opponent we may encounter.  God is bigger than any lie that they may tell.  God is bigger than every city council and ruling body.  God is bigger even than the pain of imprisonment.  The same God that Paul and the others served two thousand years ago is still alive today.  He is urgently seeking for the world to hear His Good News.   With the help of our God, we can dare to tell His gospel in spite of strong opposition.

 

       Lord God, give me the courage to be a witness for You in a world that strongly opposes the truth.  May the light of Jesus invade the darkness around me.  Give me the confidence to proclaim the Truth.  In Jesus' name.