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The Love Reaction

How the spiritual condition of those we love can inspire us to persevere.


(Read 1 Thessalonians 3:6-10)

A single mother struggles to pay for a college education for her only child. She hates her job but knows she can't quit. What's also unknown to her child is a chronic illness that racks her body with physical pain. At her breaking point, she receives a letter from her child thanking her for it all, with a grade report enclosed. The semester's discipline has manifested in straight A's. Her heart is quickened, and her spirit is encouraged to stay in the fight and keep doing all that she can. This is the love reaction: when you experience encouragement because of the well-being of someone you love.

This story is the perfect window into this passage. Paul is distressed and depressed, but the report about his beloved congregation in Thessalonica causes him to rejoice in the faithfulness of God. He moves us forward in time, from the past to the present, with the words of our text. Paul goes from apologetically explaining his love to enthusiastically responding to their faith. Today, as we consider the love reaction, we can't afford to miss any encouragement God sends our way, because it's all vital to our survival. When things get hard—and they will—God knows how, when, and where to strengthen you in the faith.

God's love causes personal encouragement in turbulent times through faithful belief. The spiritual condition of those we love can inspire us to keep going when things are difficult. What can we learn about personal encouragement from Paul's loving reaction?

Comfort in our crisis

The love reaction causes comfort in our crisis. Timothy returns to Paul with good news: This news reaches him in Corinth since he's left Athens by now. But it's so moving that he responds by immediately ...

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Romell Williams is the senior pastor of Lilydale Progressive M.B. Church in Chicago, Illinois.

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Sermon Outline:


I. Comfort in our crisis

II. Gratitude to our God

III. Prayer for our people