“…and sent Timothy, our brother and minister of God, and our fellow laborer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you and encourage you concerning your faith…”
concerning your faith
The word “concerning” is literally on behalf of. Paul sent Timothy to establish and encourage the Thessalonians on behalf of their faith. Faith under trial needs both stability and encouragement.
“And when they had preached the gospel to that city and made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, ‘We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God’” (Acts 14:21-22).
The center of spiritual stability is our faith. A weak faith triggers instability. Faith that does not rest in the proper object always detracts from the Christian life. Those weak in faith panic when things go wrong.
“…above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one” (Ephesians 6:16).
Five times in the next few verses, Paul refers to the faith of the Thessalonians (vv.5,6,7,10).
“For though I am absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ” (Colossians 2:5).
“But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit…” (Jude 1:20).
Applying the principles of God’s Word to our experience strengthens our faith.
We strengthen our faith by the Word of God.
“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17).
Christians must fight for their faith.
“Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses” (1 Timothy 6:12).
It is imperative that church leaders strengthen congregations in the faith.
“So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and increased in number daily” (Acts 16:5).