So when we could stand it no longer, we thought it best to be left by ourselves in Athens. 1 Thessalonians 3:1 NIV
I grew up watching Popeye the Sailor man cartoons. Troubles and difficult circumstances would come his way. He would try to address the problems, but without much success. Usually, it was Brutus trying to steal away his girlfriend Olive Oyl. At a boiling point, Popeye says, “I’ve had all I can stands, till I can’t stands anymore”. He then opens a can of spinach, drinks the whole can, and muscles pop onto his arms. He has the power to overcome his problems and win his girl back to himself. He was finally motivated to change his problems.
Context for today’s verse. Paul went to Thessalonica and established a church within 4-6 weeks. Because of persecution, he was forced to leave. This letter was sent to encourage the church, but also to provide an answer as to why he had not returned to help them. Chapter 3 is dedicated to giving an explanation about Timothy coming to them and returning with a report.
“When we could stand it no longer” – When his desire to know if the church was surviving under persecution, grew to a place that something had to change…he sent Timothy instead. Paul made a decision and changed what was happening.It was not his number one choice, he would rather go himself, But he addressed the situation.
What is something that has risen to an uncomfortable status that you are willing to make a change and DO something differently?
- You are a little overweight and need a lifestyle change of eating and exercise – when is it going to happen?
- You need to address a health issue with a medical doctor – why are you hesitating? When will you make the appointment?
- God has been wooing you to spend more time with him – when will you start making the schedule changes for this to happen?
- There is conflict that needs to be resolved in the home or at work. You may not be able to “fix” the whole problem, but are you willing to take the next step toward reconciliation? God has given us the role of ministers of reconciliation. We show others how to be reconciled with God and exhibit what that looks like with others.
Standing still, not moving forward, constant complaining are all examples of a lack of motivation to change. The temperature has not gotten hot enough. You are still controlling your desperation measure. Get to the end of the matter. Talk with a friend. Ask God to help you BEGIN to do something different, Make a plan and celebrate the baby steps toward that plan.
When Paul could “stand it no longer”, he did something. What is something that is occurring in your life in which you can “stand it no longer”? May God lead you toward freedom, light and life.
Blessings Love y’all