1Th 2:1-4 “For yourselves, brethren, know our entrance in unto you, that it was not in vain: But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, as ye know, at Philippi, we were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention. For our exhortation was not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile: But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts.”
As Paul pointed out in the previous chapter, the gospel of Jesus Christ had turned the Thessalonian Christians from the worship of idols. Their work of faith was such that their reputation had already spread throughout the region, but not everyone was happy about this turn of events. In Acts, chapter seventeen, we see that some of the Jews in the region believed and spent time with Paul and Silas, as well as a large group of the Gentiles (v. 4). However, the unbelievers stirred up a mob and incited a riot.
Even though Paul had to flee Thessalonica, he was assuring the brethren that his coming to them had not been without purpose. He was undaunted by the fact that they had been abused in Philippi (Act 16:22-24). Regardless of the persecution Paul, Silas, Timothy and others remained confident in God. This is an important point for us to realize in our service if we are to be effective. Our confidence (boldness) is not in those we minister to; our confidence is not in ourselves; our confidence is in our God!
Regardless of the opposition, these brothers preached the gospel of God. Even after being beaten nearly to death on multiple occasions, being shipwrecked, being stoned and left for dead, Paul never failed to stand up and preach the truth. Prisons, threats, abuse, loss of social standing, and the outright hatred of men he had once sought to impress could not turn him from his confidence in God or his purpose to preach Jesus and Him crucified.
How precious Paul’s assurance and concern for these brethren must have been to them. He took the time to comfort them with the assurance that neither he nor his companions had come to them in a fraudulent manner. There was no ulterior motive in coming to Thessalonica to preach the gospel of God. They were not trying to trick the brethren into giving them their goods, nor were they telling them that following God was without risk.
It is a most humbling thing for ministering servants to realize that they do not go and declare the gospel of their own accord. This truth should also encourage and comfort the church. When we preach the gospel it is because God has allowed (approved) us to do so. We have the gospel of God because He has entrusted it to us. How wondrous that God would call and entrust men with the amazing truth of the virgin birth, the miraculous life, the terrible death, and the victorious resurrection of His only begotten Son!
May we always speak the truth without concern for whether it pleases men, but rather with our sole desire (and our soul’s desire) being to please Him who tries our hearts!