1 Thessalonians: Destined for Trouble

Sermon & Small Group Resources

This is the fourth sermon in our series looking at 1 Thessalonians. Preacher: Michael Calder. Bible Reading: 1 Thessalonians 2:17-3:13

Download the Small Group Questions, Going Deeper, and Sermon Transcript (PDF).

Next Steps this Week

BIBLE READING: 1 Thessalonians 2:17-3:13

But, brothers and sisters, when we were orphaned by being separated from you for a short time (in person, not in thought), out of our intense longing we made every effort to see you. For we wanted to come to you—certainly I, Paul, did, again and again—but Satan blocked our way. For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? Indeed, you are our glory and joy.

So when we could stand it no longer, we thought it best to be left by ourselves in Athens. We sent Timothy, who is our brother and co-worker in God’s service in spreading the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you in your faith, so that no one would be unsettled by these trials. For you know quite well that we are destined for them. In fact, when we were with you, we kept telling you that we would be persecuted. And it turned out that way, as you well know. For this reason, when I could stand it no longer, I sent to find out about your faith. I was afraid that in some way the tempter had tempted you and that our labors might have been in vain.

But Timothy has just now come to us from you and has brought good news about your faith and love. He has told us that you always have pleasant memories of us and that you long to see us, just as we also long to see you. Therefore, brothers and sisters, in all our distress and persecution we were encouraged about you because of your faith. For now we really live, since you are standing firm in the Lord. How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have in the presence of our God because of you? Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you again and supply what is lacking in your faith.

Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus clear the way for us to come to you. May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones.


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CONNECT: What is one daily rhythm that would help you to more readily enable the Word to be at work in your life this week?

WARM-UP Questions

  1. Who is someone who encourages you in your Christian walk? 

  2. If you’re comfortable sharing, what’s your relationship with God like at the moment? 

READ 1 Thessalonians 2:17-20

  1. How does Paul feel about the Thessalonians? Why do you think he’s telling them this?

  2. Have you ever had a friend who stopped being a Christian, or a friend you thought would never become a Christian, but did? How did that make you feel?

  3. Why did Paul find it difficult to visit the Thessalonians?

  4. How does Paul describe the Thessalonians in v.19-20? Do you feel this way about those you have discipled?

READ 1 Thessalonians 3:1-5

  1. Who did Paul send to the Thessalonians? Why did he do this?

  2. Why do you think Paul told the Thessalonians, that he was destined for trouble?

  3. How and why are people tempted to walk away from the Gospel in Australia

  4. How can we use what we have to encourage other Christians who are facing trials?

READ 1 Thessalonians 3:6-10

  1. What does v.6 tell us about the context within which this letter was written? What do these historical details show us about the Bible?

  2. How does Paul feel upon hearing about how the church in Thessalonica is going?

  3. How do you encourage the faith of others? What sorts of things encourage you to follow God?

READ 1 Thessalonians 3:11-13

  1. What is Paul doing in v.11-13? What is he modelling for us today?

  2. What do these words tell us about Paul’s heart, and ultimately, God’s heart for all followers of Christ?

  3. Who in your life prays that you keep growing as a disciple of Jesus? Who can you be praying for?

APPLY This Week: What are some practical ways we can rejoice in, encourage, and pray for one another as we commit to maturing as disciples of Jesus this week?


Loving Lord God, we thank you for the faith and witness of Christians through the ages. Thank you for the people who disciple us and pray for us. Help us to encourage, rejoice in and pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ as we long for your return. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.