“…that no one should be shaken by these afflictions; for you yourselves know that we are appointed to this“
The word “that” gives us the goal of Timothy’s trip: establishing and encouraging the Thessalonians.
no one should be shaken by these afflictions;
The words “no one” indicate that it is Paul’s desire that not even one believer’s faith be set back by “these afflictions.” There was the greatest urgency that their faith be bolstered by Timothy’s coming lest even one wavering believer be moved in the midst of these afflictions.
The word “shaken” is a graphic term. The word means literally to wag as of a dog wagging his tail while fawning or cringing. “Shaken” carries the idea of to unsettle like a dog’s tail going back and forth. The Thessalonian Christians should not allow themselves to be shaken or unsettled by persecution. False teaching can disturb our souls. Some of them were so emotionally disturbed that they gave up their beliefs. Christians who are mature in their faith will not move from their moorings. Mature believers do not push the panic button.
“Afflictions” means pressure. It is anything that loads the soul. This trouble comes from direct suffering. It was an occupational hazard to become a Christian in those days. There was the awful danger that the Thessalonians would be enticed by the pleasant prospect of the easier life afforded by compromise or reverting to paganism. No doubt, there were plenty of smooth sympathizers on hand encouraging them to make just such a fatal move.
Mature believers know how to endure affliction.
All Christians face pressure and duress in their lives. The issue is whether we suffer like a mature Christian or like an immature Christian. Tribulations should never throw a mature believer off course. God provides for the believer in such a way that he can have peace in the pressures of life. The mature Christian rests in that.
If you are in that cycle of your Christian life where everything is resulting in affliction, reverses or trouble, God knows how much you can bear and will not allow the pressure to become too great. The Lord is very careful how He measures out the pain that comes to your life. You can trust Him for that.