“Brethren, for this reason, in [spite of all] our stress and crushing difficulties we have been filled with comfort and cheer about you [because of] your faith (the leaning of your whole personality on God in complete trust and confidence). Because now we [really] live, if you stand [firm] in the Lord. For what [adequate] thanksgiving can we render to God for you for all the gladness and delight which we enjoy for your sakes before our God?” 1 Thessalonians 3:7-9 ->me: ‘for this reason’ – the reason is that Timothy had returned to tell Paul and Silas that the Thessalonians have steadfast faith and a warmth of love for the church and the unsaved; that they have not fallen to the temptations of the tempter. I love how honest Paul is here about his own situation – “in spite of all the stress and CRUSHING difficulties”. That good news can be such a good salve for an open and hurting wound. Paul says that in their pain they found comfort and cheer in hearing about the continued faith of their flock – and not just that but that they now find the fight to ‘live’ when they know the congregation is standing firm in the Lord. Paul’s joy is so great that he even finds trouble thinking about how to thank God enough for the encouragement that has come on behalf of the Saints. When I am under the pressures of work and the valleys of my walk with the Lord, do I think about the faithfulness and steadfastness in the Lord of the people that I have mentored and ministered to? What a big revelation to find comfort and peace in the work that God has done in others through me. Powerful!