As we come back to our study of Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians, we pick up in chapter 3 verses 1-5. The birth of this church is found in Acts 17:1-9 where Paul preached and taught in the synagogue that Jesus is the Christ, the king of a new kingdom. That certainly got Paul and his team (Silas and Timothy) into trouble with the Jewish authorities and the leadership in Rome. Because of that, after the church was established, they were run out of town and moved along to Berea and then to Athens. After some time, Paul received reports about the continued trials and afflictions that the Thessalonians were facing. Paul had great anguish and concern for the hardships he heard about and sent Timothy to establish and encourage them in their faith.
Paul had told these young Christians that affliction and trial were part of the package when following after Jesus. (3:3-4). For the Christian, affliction and suffering are universally experienced and appointed for a good, wise and holy purpose.