Your Christ, my hope

The story surrounding Paul’s initial journey to Thessalonica, the raising up of the church there, and his subsequent letters to this little assembly is well worth a good study. Paul was in town for barely a month before getting tossed to the curb by the local Jewish community, but in that small window of time the Lord gave birth through his ministry to a gathering of believers whose testimony sounded out all across Macedonia, Achaia, and beyond in the days to come.

When Paul wrote his first letter to the Thessalonians some weeks after being “torn away” from them by hostile circumstances, his heart was rejoicing. From the moment he’d been forced to leave the city he’d been burdened for the little children he had left behind. He knew they were facing heavy afflictions, and though he entrusted them to the keeping power of the indwelling Christ, still he worried that the pressure would be too much for them to handle. “Therefore when I could bear it no longer, I chose to remain alone at Athens and sent Timothy, our brother and co-worker in the gospel of Christ, to establish and exhort you in your faith, so that no one would be moved by these afflictions” (1 Thess. 3:1-3). When Timothy returned to Paul at Corinth he brought good news: not only was the church at Thessalonica surviving, she was thriving. And the saints were longing to see Paul again as much as he longed to see them. At this point Paul says something that is simply beautiful:

“For now we live, if you are standing firm in the Lord” (1 Thess. 3:8)

Did you catch that? Here you have the great apostle Paul-a man who has seen visions and revelations of the Lord, has been caught up to the third heaven, has seen the resurrected Christ face to face-saying to a little assembly of new believers barely out of their spiritual training pants that he cannot live without them. That they are his life. That his going on depends on their going on.

It’s a pretty remarkable thought, if you ask me. You and I are accustomed to think of this the other way around, aren’t we? In other words, we think it should be the weak believers in Thessalonica declaring their utter dependence on Paul and his ministry. But here in scripture we see it just the opposite. Here you have the strong apostle, the Lord’s worker, the one who should surely be able to stand on his own if anyone could, declaring his need for the Thessalonian believers to stand firm in the Lord. Isn’t that wonderful? It shows just how much we all need one another in the Body of Christ. Big or small, one talent for five, none of us is going to make it very far on our own. Simply put, we need each other. If Paul needed the two-month old believers in Thessalonica, then you can be sure that you need me and I need you.

Today the church I’m a part of was visited by some saints from a town a couple hours north of us. We sang a song together which is drawn from this very passage in Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians. I submit to you here the words to the song and a small video clip from the meeting, for your mutual enjoyment. 🙂

YOUR CHRIST, MY HOPE

1)I’m thankful that God has placed me

With you to build up His body

Christ in you is the hope for me

You also need Christ lived in me

 

(CHORUS)

I live if you stand firm in the Lord

You live if I stand firm in the Lord

My going on is for you, your going on is for me

Not separate entities, I need you saints desperately

 

2)Oh what a sweet church life have we

Built up in Him His bride to be

In Him steadfast you help me be

Encouraged by Christ whom I see

 

3)Your faith in Christ helps me pursue

My progress depends upon you

As I seek Christ with you in view

My heart full of prayers is for you

 

4)God’s heart longs, desires that we

His lovers seek Him corporately

On each other spent constantly

My life is for you, yours for me

 

5)I want to encourage you all

Without your supply I would fall

Never think that your Christ is small

Christ needs you and so do we all

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About Joshua

Writer, husband, father, friend. View all posts by Joshua

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