“Therefore, encourage one another with these words.” 1 Thess 4:18
Oh, stress, our constant companion! We find ourselves running from errand to errand, chore to chore, trying to keep all of the balls in the air. Grocery store, work stress, pick up the kids, drop off the kids, we forgot the kids… you know, the everyday stuff. We all feel the pressures of life and sometimes it can be overwhelming. But, notice Paul’s words above… “Therefore, encourage one another with these words.” What words? How should we seek to encourage each other in the midst of weekly chaos?
These words come toward the end of Paul’s first (canonical) letter to the Thessalonians. In context, he begins by addressing their concern for loved ones who have passed away (1 Thess 4:13). We should not “grieve as others do who have no hope.” No, because Jesus lives we will live (v. 14)! What’s more, Christ is going to return and we (who are in Christ) will be reunited in the presence of the King. The trumpets of God’s Kingdom will sound the victory, our King will descend in glory and power, and the New Heavens and New Earth will be consummated for all of us to enjoy. In other words, even the worst possible scenario for a believer (death) will ultimately result in glory, joy, and worship. “THEREFORE, encourage one another with these words,” says Paul.
Christian, be encouraged this week. Life can certainly be chaotic. Life can be stressful and intense. Sometimes, life can be filled with grief and despair. But, even in our chaotic, stressful, intense, grief-filled, and despairing moments, we have hope. This isn’t how the story ends. No, it ends with victory. It ends with worship. It ends in mind-blowing joy. Our hope never rests in our ability to perform or our circumstances. Our hope is external. Our hope is Jesus and it is a secure hope because he has already obtained the victory. We are promised that good things, great things, amazing things are in store. So be encouraged by Paul’s words in 1 Thess 4:13-18. The best is yet to come.
Soli Deo Gloria,
Pastor Matthew S. Rickett