In 1 Thessalonians 3:1-5, Paul spoke of the afﬂictions that he and his fellow workers experienced in Thessalonica. The labor in that city was difﬁcult (Acts 17:1-10). As Paul was having good success in the city, jealous Jews formed a mob and attacked the house of Jason. This was the famous occasion where it was said, “These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also.” It was only after money exchanged hands that Jason and Paul were released. Fearing for their lives, the brethren sent Paul and Silas on to Berea.
These circumstances caused Paul to be afraid for the faith of the Thessalonians. He sent Timothy to them to assess their faith and he brought the good news (the same word as “gospel”) of their faith and love. They remembered Paul kindly and longed to see him, living out the principles Paul wrote in Romans 12:9-21.
Paul was comforted through their faith. They refreshed his spirit, like so many worthy workers he had dealt with in the past and would in the future (1 Corinthians 16:18; 2 Corinthians 7:13). He also longed for the opportunity to supply what was lacking in their faith. He then prayed for the increase of their love. An increase of love and faith would establish their hearts blameless in holiness; it is the key to solidity and continuance.