|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
3:1-5 The more we find pleasure in the ways of God, the more we shall desire to persevere therein. The apostle's design was to establish and comfort the Thessalonians as to the object of their faith, that Jesus Christ was the Saviour of the world; and as to the recompence of faith, which was more than enough to make up all their losses, and to reward all their labours. But he feared his labours would be in vain. If the devil cannot hinder ministers from labouring in the word and doctrine, he will, if possible, hinder the success of their labours. No one would willingly labour in vain. It is the will and purpose of God, that we enter into his kingdom through many afflictions. And the apostles, far from flattering people with the expectation of worldly prosperity in religion, told them plainly they must count upon trouble in the flesh. Herein they followed the example of their great Master, the Author of our faith. Christians were in danger, and they should be forewarned; they will thus be kept from being improved by any devices of the tempter.
Verse 3. - This verse contains the object of the exhortation; the clause is an accusative to the verb. That no man should be moved (or, shaken) by; or rather in; expressing the position in which they were placed. These afflictions. The same word as "tribulation" in the next verse. For yourselves know. How they knew is explained, partly from the forewarnings of the apostle, and partly from their own experience. That we; not to be referred to Paul only, nor to Paul and his companions, Silas and Timothy, nor to Paul and the Thessalonians, but to all Christians in general; that we Christians. Are appointed thereunto; namely, by God. Our afflictions do not result from chance, but are the necessary consequence of our Christianity; they arise from the appointment and ordinance of God. Tribulation is the Christian's portion. Whatever truth there may be in the saying that prosperity is the promise of the Old Testament, affliction is certainly the promise of the New. We must be conformed to Christ in his sufferings. "In the world," says our Lord, "ye shall have tribulation" (John 16:33). When our Lord called Paul to his apostleship, he showed him how great things he must suffer for his Name's sake (Acts 9:16). All the apostles suffered from persecution, and concerning Christians in general Paul asserts that it is only through tribulation that they can enter into the kingdom of God (Acts 14:22; see Revelation 7:14).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
That no man should be moved by these afflictions,.... Which the apostle endured for the sake of preaching the Gospel among them, and which he feared might be a means of troubling their minds, of shaking their faith, and moving them from the hope of the Gospel; for though none of these things moved him, who was an old soldier of Christ, and used to hardness, and an apostle of Christ; yet these were young converts, and not used to such things, and therefore might be staggered at them, and be offended, as stony ground hearers are; and though the apostle hoped better things of them, yet was he concerned for them, that no one among them might be unhinged by them, or succumb under them:
for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto; by the immutable decree of God: afflictions, as to their nature, measure, and duration, are appointed for the people of God, and they are appointed for them; this is the case of all who will live godly in Christ Jesus, and especially of Gospel ministers; of which these saints had been apprized by the apostle, and therefore was nothing new, unheard of, and unexpected, or to be looked upon as a strange thing; and seeing this was the appointment of heaven, and the will of God, they should be patiently endured, and quietly submitted to.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
3. moved—"shaken," "disturbed." The Greek is literally said of dogs wagging the tail in fawning on one. Therefore Tittmann explains it, "That no man should, amidst his calamities, be allured by the flattering hope of a more pleasant life to abandon his duty." So Elsner and Bengel, "cajoled out of his faith." In afflictions, relatives and opponents combine with the ease-loving heart itself in flatteries, which it needs strong faith to overcome.
yourselves know—We always candidly told you so (1Th 3:4; Ac 14:22). None but a religion from God would have held out such a trying prospect to those who should embrace it, and yet succeed in winning converts.
appointed thereunto—by God's counsel (1Th 5:9).
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