“For yourselves, brethren, know our entrance in unto you, that it was not in vain: but even after 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.” (1 Thessalonians 2:1-2) These are the words of Paul in his first letter to the church at Thessalonica. They tell of his courage and determination in preaching in Thessalonica even after a bad experience at Philippi.
In Philippi Paul and his co-worker, Silas, were put in prison, not because they had done anything evil, but because Paul had healed a girl who was possessed with a spirit of divination. They were whipped, and that illegally and finally asked to leave the city. They were, so to speak, “run out of town.” A lesser man than Paul might have “called it quits”—at least for the time being. But not Paul—he came to Thessalonica and boldly preached the same gospel he had preached at Philippi.
God’s people have always had some trouble to come into their lives. Joseph was sold into slavery. Job lost his wealth, his children, his health and the respect of his friends. Jeremiah watched his people turn away from God and go into captivity. John was exiled on the isle of Patmos. We, too, can expect some rain to come into our lives. In the midst of trouble let’s have Paul’s attitude: “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed, we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9)
At times serving God can be discouraging. Sometimes everything may seem to go wrong. At such times let’s follow Paul’s example. Let’s learn to “get up and try again.”