by Dan Weyerhaeuser, Senior Pastor
Hello my friend,
For sure life in this world has its challenges. Some of them are crushing. Some of them go on for longer than we feel we have the endurance to bear. Of course this is not unique to you, or new to our generation. Since Adam and Eve’s rebellion, people have had to endure profound pain and injustice.
It is into this world that our God has reached, through His Word, His prophets, His people, through Christ, His Spirit, and His church. He comes close, loves, redeems, and adopts people for Himself. He indwells and guides and leads. But the best news of all, is that this life with its mingled sorrow will not last forever. A day will come when Christ returns to bring God’s Kingdom. Hope in THAT day changes how we look at this one.
Take a few moments to get still before the Lord. Ask His blessing upon your time together in His Word.
Scripture: Read 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, three times slowly.
Paul wrote this letter to a very young church experiencing intense and obsessive persecution. Paul had planted the church on his second missionary journey. Not long after residents of the town rose up and beat Paul, they thought, to death. Paul travelled on to a nearby town called Berea. When the people in Thessalonica heard Paul was there, they followed Him there to get him. He escaped, but the persecutors returned to their home town where a fledgling church had to endure their anger. Paul write this letter to help them keep their faith.
These verses describe the return of Christ at which time He will gather His people to Himself. What do they say? (Read it one more time).
How do you respond to the idea that Jesus is returning like this? Tell Him.
V. 16-17 What power does death have over Christ’s people when He returns? How does this impact you? Tell Him.
V. 18 What impact can the promise of Jesus’ return have upon people in persecution? Why?
Are you encouraged by this hope? Ask Him to help you be.
As you conclude: What is one truth about God from these texts you can take through your day? How can you remember it?
Can you think of two people you will see today who don’t yet know the returning Christ? Take a moment and pray for both of them, that God’s Spirit would give them new birth. Then watch for how He brings you two together!