We sent Timothy… to strengthen and encourage you in your faith. 1 Thessalonians 3:2 (NIV)
Your faith is always under fire. It is always being pounded. This can happen in a couple of different ways:
We sent Timothy… to strengthen and encourage you in your faith so that no one would be unsettled by these trials (3:2).
For this reason, when I could stand it no longer, I sent to find out about your faith. I was afraid that in some way the tempter might have tempted you and our efforts might have been useless (3:5).
When you consider the entire chapter, the love and the depth of commitment that Paul has for these believers is striking. He is desperate for news. “We wanted to come to you… but Satan stopped us” (2:18). Paul had to deal with something that Satan did—perhaps it was some plot against his life, or some sin or scandal at Corinth—we don’t know. This was desperately frustrating for Paul. “When we could stand it no longer… we sent Timothy” (3:1-2).
Paul gives us a model of how to minister to a person whose faith is under fire. Think about someone you know whose faith is under fire from great trials or a particular attack from the tempter—how are you ministering to them?