Today we come to the end of what has been a very encouraging and inspiring journey through the book of 1 Thessalonians. I hope it has been a blessing to you.
The underscore of this letter is, quite simply, hope. I have called this series, “A Real Life Faith,” because I believe that faith is about embracing hope. When we are reminded of our great and glorious hope in Jesus’ promised return, our faith surges, our endurance strengthens, and our determination to see through the temporary trials and rest in the promised deliverance is built up.
You see, Paul makes very clear that, at the end of our days upon this earth as it now stands, God will finish the transforming work he began when first we believed. In chapter 5, he repeats a phrase used earlier in the letter:
“…And may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thess 5.23.b).
What a glorious thought, isn’t it?
When that day comes that Jesus returns and calls us up and out of this sin-cursed world, the transforming of out lives that started when we put our trust in him will be fully and finally completed. And, as Paul taught us in chapter 4, “and so we will always be with the Lord.” I don’t think we can quite grasp the significance of that statement. We will be with him… never separated again, never to ache for his presence because we are in it.
My brothers and sisters, in this is hope.
Whatever life throws at us, it is only temporary. The eternal is sure. This is a real life faith.
And a real life faith is hope for the future.
Father, thank you for your promises that provide a hope beyond our ability to fully grasp. May that hope stir and strengthen and motivate our faith until that day comes.