You know, brothers and sisters, that our visit to you was not without results. We had previously suffered and been treated outrageously in Philippi, as you know, but with the help of our God we dared to tell you his gospel in the face of strong opposition.
1 Thessalonians 2:1,2
In the first part of this chapter of the Bible, Paul described his ministry to the Christians at Thessalonica. He was not bragging and just attempting to bring attention on himself. As he spoke about the difficulties and opposition he faced in doing the Lord’s work, he hoped to encourage those persecuted Christians to also be persistent and bold in living and practicing their faith.
He reminded them how he suffered and was insulted in Philippi just prior to coming to Thessalonica. Together with his companion Silas, Paul was unjustly accused, stripped, and beaten, severely flogged and thrown into prison. After that humiliating and painful experience, who would have blamed Paul for giving up and just going home?
But Paul kept on, and he did it “with the help of our God.” God helped him to be bold even though he faced strong opposition. God strengthened and sustained him so that he could bring the message of Jesus Christ to the people in that city.
Boldness is also a virtue we pray that God increases within us. Boldness to speak up for Jesus when people put us down. Boldness to defend God’s truth when others trash it with their lies. Boldness to live by God’s Word when so many others ignore it. Even in the face of opposition, boldness to never deny Christ.
My God, help me to be bold in my life of faith. Keep me faithful to Jesus and give me the courage to follow him even when I face opposition. Amen.