5 For this reason, when I could endure it no longer, I also sent to find out about your faith, for fear that the tempter might have tempted you, and our labor would be in vain. 6 But now that Timothy has come to us from you, and has brought us good news of your faith and love, and that you always think kindly of us, longing to see us just as we also long to see you, 7 for this reason, brethren, in all our distress and affliction we were comforted about you through your faith; 8 for now we really live, if you stand firm in the Lord.
I appreciate Paul’s honesty and humility here. We see a glimpse behind this faithful man that things aren’t always easy and that he does worry, like the rest of us. I think we can all relate to verse 5; we all have something we have worked hard for and wonder if it was good enough. Sometimes I think we wonder if we did “enough good” to make it into heaven, losing sight that it’s not about what we can do, it’s about what God does for us.
In verse 6, my study bible notes that the original language of “good news” is the same words used when it speaks of the “good news” of the Gospel. Look at what follows “good news” in this verse: your faith and love, and that you always think kindly of us, longing to see us just as we also long to see you. We don’t know if Paul intended it to be laid out like this, but I know God did. The rest of this sentence actually spell out what the Gospel produces! Faith, love, thinking kindly of others, and longing for communion with others in the faith. What we see here is the Gospel in action. It isn’t just words; it isn’t just someone talking about Christ, the crucifixion, and what it salvation is. This is the Living Gospel exhibited through honesty and compassion.
And what does the “good news” do? “In all our distress and affliction we were comforted.” It comforts us. Through all the things that life throws at us, the Truth of the Gospel gives us peace and understanding beyond our own comprehension. This is because God’s Word is supernatural as it works through our lives. As we experience this, we are able to stand firm in the Lord. Our faith is increased so we may exhibit it more boldly in worship of He who is in control of all things.
Why wouldn’t we want this? So many of us are caught up in the day to day callings of this world and we answer to gods that do nothing for us but consume our minds and bodies. We chase things that if they give us satisfaction at all, only do so for but a small amount of time. We never get any real peace or comfort, we only want more and more, chasing that which does not exist in this world. What good is it to look for something in the wrong places?
Where have you been looking? Have you looked up?