Hope For the Future (Reprise)

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.

He’ll Finish What He Started

We have all probably had those moment when we were anticipating the arrival of someone special to us, someone we love or admire very deeply. I know I have many times.

Father, I long for that day when, just like Jesus rose from the grave, I will rise from this sin-cursed and death-riddled world to be with You forever. What a joyous hope!

Like Flowers For Mom

This weekend we will celebrate Easter. In just a few weeks it will be Mother’s Day. There is not much of a connection between the two, but I think a very common Mother’s Day reality can help us see a deeper dimension to celebrating the resurrection of Jesus.

Many if not most moms have had the joyful delight of a precious little toddler coming to you with a hand full of flowers that they picked for you. Sometimes they are weeds with bright colors. Sometimes they are wildflowers that grew on their own. And sometimes they were taken without a shred of malice from a flower bed or garden belonging to you or a neighbor or a park.

Even if you’ve never experienced that moment, you can imagine that joy when a little child brings you something as a tangible expression of a love they can hardly begin to understand. Continue reading Like Flowers For Mom