we are doing a series on Thessalonians in church with our elder. The reality of the Thess church is that they came to faith against odds and hung on to their faith, growing and demonstrating their genuineness of their faith in the midst of persecution. Hence Paul encourages them much about the hope they have – not a wishful sort of longing, but a solid promise of justice and peace when Christ returns. There is hope, and they can be hopeful because Jesus is coming back again. The Thessalonians may not have the hope that their trying and life threatenting circumstances may chance; not hope on this side of heaven, but they have etnral hope.
How often do we who live and serve in affluent Singapore think of the need for hope, eternal hope? Rather we hope that people treat us nicer, give us more respect, that we can find a safe place to worship (make that comfortable and near the MRT please)… what exactly do we hope for? Are our lives marked by a hopefulness that goes beyond this time-space? Or are we in fact not that different from the general mood of hopelessness in the world – where hope goes up and down according to economic and mood cycles?
How shall we learn to be hopeful, to stand on the Hope we have and to offer hope to others?
By taking a hard serious look at our false hopes and repenting of them
By facing our fears of truly hoping and acting in faith out of that..rather than playing it safe
By going out on a limb – where the fruit is – and risking…
By gazing at Jesus, the author of our hope and all our hopes.
Let us encourage each other while it is day!