1 Thessalonians 3:9, 10
For what thanks can we render to God again for you, for all the joy with which we joy for your sakes before our God;…
I. HIS GRATITUDE FOR THE JOY IMPARTED BY TIMOTHY'S TIDINGS. "For what thanks can we render to God again for you, for all the joy wherewith we joy for your sakes before our God?"
1. He has no words to express his gratitude to God for their constancy.
2. The joy he experienced was not in the greed of any worldly advantage he had gained, but was the hearty and sincere joy of one profoundly interested in their spiritual welfare.
3. It was joy "before God," who sees and knows all inward thoughts and feelings, and therefore knows its reality and power.
II. HIS PRAYERFUL ANXIETY TO SEE THE THESSALONIANS FOR THEIR FURTHER BENEFIT. "Night and day praying exceedingly that we might see your face, and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith." His prayers had an extraordinary fervency. Ministers ought to be much in prayer for their flocks.
1. The deficiencies in their faith. They had already received the grace of faith and the doctrine of faith, and exhibited in its fullness the "work of faith." But there were deficiencies still to be supplied.
(1) Their faith wanted still greater power, for they had hardly yet escaped all danger of relapse into heathen impurities.
(2) It wanted to be more widely diffused through all the duties of life, for they needed to mind honest industry and forswear idleness.
(3) They needed fuller light upon the second advent.
2. The design of the ministry is to supply these deficiencies of faith. The apostle longed to be at Thessalonica once more, not only to impart to them "some spiritual gift, to the end they might be established" (Romans 1:10, 11), but to give them fuller teaching upon the various points where their faith needed enlargement. It is God's work to increase faith, but ministers can promote it as instruments, for they are "for the perfecting of the saints in the knowledge of the Son of God." - T.C.
Parallel VersesKJV: For what thanks can we render to God again for you, for all the joy wherewith we joy for your sakes before our God;