‘But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, as ye know, at Philippi, we were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention.’ — 1 Thessalonians 2:2
After being hurt by something or someone, we are less inclined to do that same thing or be around that same person. In 1 Thessalonians 2, Paul talks about how he and those with him had ‘suffered before’ and ‘were shamefully entreated…at Philippi’. Acts 16 contains the account of their beating and imprisonment.
After such a painful and humiliating experience, you’d think they be more cautious and less likely to boldly preach a message that many people disliked. Yet, Paul says, even after all that ‘we were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention’.
They did not allow past hurt or present contention to keep them from being bold in God. They knew that they had to speak the gospel of God, and they trusted the Lord to help them once again.
This is a great lesson to us. The longer we serve the Lord, the more we see patterns and experience problems. As we see trouble brewing, we might be tempted to dampen our message or quench our zeal to avoid opposition. Yet, we need to continue to be bold for the Lord and to trust God to help us.
May we not give up just because things are difficult. May we keep on preaching the truth boldly even when we anticipate opposition. May we trust God to help us and give us the strength to be faithful to His Word.