1 Thess 2:17-20; 1 Thess 3:1-13; Plan with Christ (1 Thessalonians 3); Patrice Berger

1 Thess 2:17-20; 1 Thess 3:1-13; Plan with Christ (1 Thessalonians 3); Patrice Berger

prédication 1 Thessaloniciens 3 : Patrice Berger, 2023_07_14, église AB Lausanne

titre : 1 Thess 2:17-20; 1 Thess 3:1-13; Plan with Christ (1 Thessalonians 3); Patrice Berger

Résumé : The apostle is hot for the gospel and naturally would like to see the Thessalonians again, but many times he is prevented from doing so. Interesting. Even when we make plans for God, they don’t turn out the way we thought they would.
What can we learn from Paul’s experience for our own projects?

1 Thess 2:17-20; 1 Thess 3:1-13; Plan with Christ (1 Thessalonians 3); Patrice Berger

Plan with Christ

1 Thessalonians chapter 2.17-20
17 As for us, brothers and sisters, separated from you for a little while – in body but not in heart – we have redoubled our efforts to see you again, because it was our great desire.
18 This is how we wanted to come to you, at least I Paul,
on one or two occasions, but Satan prevented us from doing so.
19 For what is our hope, or our joy, or our crown of glory? Is it not you also, before our Lord Jesus, at his return?
20 Yes, you are our glory and our joy.

1 Thessalonians chapter 3:1-13
1 Therefore, being unable to bear it any longer, we saw fit to remain alone in Athens
2 and sent to you our brother Timothy, servant of God [and our co-worker] in the Gospel of Christ , to strengthen you and encourage [you] in your faith,
3 so that no one is shaken in the midst of present difficulties. Indeed, you know it yourselves, this is what we are destined for.
4 In fact, when we were with you, we foretold you that we were going to experience persecution, and that is what happened, as you know.
5 Therefore, being unable to bear it any longer, I sent him to inquire of your faith, lest the tempter tempt you, and we labor for nothing.

6 But Timothy has just come to us from your home, and he has given us good news of your faith and your love; he told us that you always have good memories of us and that you want to see us again as much as we want too.

7 Wherefore, brothers and sisters, in our anguish and our trials
we have been encouraged concerning you by your faith.
8 Indeed, now we live, since you stand firm in the Lord.

9 How can we express in return all our gratitude to God about you for all the joy we experience because of you before our God?
10 Night and day, we pray to him with great insistence to allow us to see you again
and to complete what is lacking in your faith.
11 May God Himself, our Father, and our Lord Jesus [Christ] direct our journey to you!

12 May the Lord increase and overflow the love you have for one another and for all men, like the one we have for you!
13 May he thus strengthen your heart so that it may be blameless in holiness before God our Father, at the return of our Lord Jesus with all his saints!

Paul’s Motivation

What motivates Paul in life?
. Souls to Christ
1 Thessalonians chapter 2 verse 19
For what is our hope, or our joy, or our crown of glory? Ain’t you too

who grow up

1 Thessalonians chapter 3 verse 2
to strengthen you and encourage [you] in your faith.

  • That believers are not destabilized:
    difficulties mainly persecutions.
    Real fear, we see in verse 5 of chapter 3 that Paul is worried that the trials have crushed them.
  • Denounce false teachings.
    Everything in his life tends towards this.
    And that inspires his projects.

The great inventors

For great inventors and entrepreneurs, their whole life is devoted to one thing: their projects.
Look at Steve Jobs:

  • he thought Apple,
  • he dreamed Apple,
  • his life is linked to Apple!

Same Paul

The apostle Paul has much more than computers, iPhones or tablets to offer: the gospel!

And in today’s text, we have a window into what was for him, the reality of his life versus his life plans.


1 Thessalonians chapter 2 verse 17

  • we redoubled our efforts to see you again,
  • for it was our great desire

Steps to get there
1 Thessalonians chapter 2 verse 18

  • we wanted to go to you
  • twice

1 Thessalonians chapter 2 verse 18

  • but Satan forbade us
    The phrase is

be mysterious,
be much simpler.
The opposition encountered by the apostle was frequent enough for his plans to fall through. Perhaps the apostle links these oppositions to the actions of Satan.

God has other plans

Paul can’t go, so Timothy is sent.

Plan B as valid
This other project is just as valid as if Paul had done it himself.

Paul “lives again” 1 Thessalonians chapter 3 verses 7-8,
It says a lot about what animated his life.

Paul redid the same project
That doesn’t prevent Paul from redoing the same project, go see them!
1 Thessalonians chapter 3 verse 10

And he hands it over to God

1 Thessalonians chapter 3 verse 11
Will it be prevented? Could he do it?
Regardless, what is interesting here is to see how Paul did these projects.

  • Inspired by the urgency of the gospel,
  • concrete,
  • committed to God.
    Sometimes he accomplishes them, other times he is prevented by difficulties or by God.
  • When he couldn’t, God had another solution.
  • He didn’t sulk at God or whatever, when things didn’t go the way he had imagined.
  • He was ready to do the same project again, waiting for God’s answer.


From a project of a servant of God but whose realization happens differently:
2 Samuel, chapter 7. 1-16
1 When he was installed in his palace and the Lord had given him rest by delivering him from all the enemies around him, 2 the king said to the prophet Nathan,
“Look! I live in a cedar house, while the ark of God is set up in the middle of a tent.
3 Nathan answered the king,
“Go ahead and do whatever is in your heart, for the Lord is with you.”

4 The following night the word of the LORD came to Nathan,
5 “Go and tell my servant David,
‘This is what the LORD says: Build me a house for me to dwell in. ?
6 For I have not lived in a house since the day I brought the Israelites out of Egypt until today.
I traveled in a tent, in a tabernacle.
7 Wherever I walked with all the Israelites, did I once say to one of the tribes of Israel whom I had appointed to lead my people Israel, Why do you not
build me a house of cedar?’

8 Now tell my servant David,
‘This is what the LORD Almighty says:
I have taken you from the pasture, behind the sheep, to be ruler over my people, over Israel.
9 I have accompanied you wherever you have walked,
I have eliminated all your enemies before you and I have made your name as great as that of the great ones of the earth.
10 I have given a place of residence for my people, Israel,
and have planted them so that they may be fixed there and no longer be disturbed, so that the wicked no longer oppress them as in the past, 11 as when I appointed judges over my people, over Israel.
I have given you rest by delivering you from all your enemies.
Moreover, the Lord announces to you that he himself will make you a house:
12 When your life is over and you lie down with your ancestors,
I will raise up your offspring after you, your offspring, and I will establish his kingdom.
13 He will build a house for my name,
and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.
14 I will be a father to him, and he will be a son to me.
If he does evil, I will punish him with the rod of men, with the blows of men, 15 but I will not take my grace from him as I did with Saul, whom I removed from your way.
16 Your house and your kingdom will be secure forever after you, your throne will be established forever.’”

In the time of David

David wants to do the temple: great idea, but it won’t be him!


I smile, indeed there are certain projects that I thought were good for my old assembly, 10 years ago,

  • which seemed to have to be current now…
  • It was not the good timing,
  • it was not was perhaps not mine to make!

Proverbs 16:
1 The plans of the heart are in man, but the answer of the mouth is of the Lord.
2 All the ways of a man are pure in his eyes, but the LORD is the one who assesses the disposition of mind.

3 Commit your activity to the Lord and your plans will be established.

7 When the Lord approves of a man’s ways, he even disposes his enemies to make peace with him.

9A man’s heart may plan his way, but the LORD directs his steps.


What we can remember:
1) Priority of life, make plans for Him and with God.

2) And expect His response, do the lights turn green?
Sometimes in an extraordinary way.
Sometimes they are red, now is not the time, it is not up to us to realize them.

3) Why not start over?
Don’t get upset, don’t make faces, give them back to the Lord and see His answers by us or not…

Bible Passages

Proverbs 16:1-9

The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD.

All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits.

Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.

The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.

Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.

By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.

When a man's ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.

Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues without right.

A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.

1 Thessalonians 2:17-20

But we, brethren, being taken from you for a short time in presence, not in heart, endeavored the more abundantly to see your face with great desire.

Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered us.

For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?

For ye are our glory and joy.

Related Links / Notes

Series : Epistle 1st Thessalonians

Study Notes are translated from the original French version prepared by the pastor Patrice Berger. The orginal French notes are in « note » form, and are not a direct transcription of the video, however they are quite close the original text preached at the church. The notes provided here follow that form, and are detailed enough to help provide a deep understanding of the texts of the parables.

All services as well as some of the bible studies are streamed on the channel  YouTube église AB Renens-Lausanne.  Also visit the You Tube channel of the Swiss Action Biblique Youth Groups (JAB Suisse Romande).

Bible verses cited in this series are avalaible online in the KJV Bible among others and also as a podcast on Spotify