And Especially Hope
JUNE 18, 2014
"We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. . . . Wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come." 1 Thessalonians 1:2–3, 10
When it comes down to it, hope is what most of us are desperate for in our lives. We need something to look forward to, something to keep us from despair in the midst of all of the pain and difficulty we experience and see around us.
Most of what the world clings to is false hope, because it is based in our ability to get better. But what if you look at your life today and see the same struggles that you had yesterday? What if you’re faced with things that you have little or no control over, like losing your job? Or a spouse who abandoned you? Or unrelenting parents? Or sickness?
When we talk about hope, we need more than just the tired old clichés about the “little engine that could” and turning lemons into lemonade, because our problems are usually much bigger than a few lemons—we need sin and death overcome.
In 1 Thessalonians 1:10, Paul refers to “Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.” Jesus Christ died for our sins and was raised for our salvation. Because of the work of Christ, you are declared pure, righteous, saved, blameless, holy, forgiven, and without condemnation. These are all words God uses in Scripture for those who are in Christ. This good news relates all the way down to the core of your identity: your depression, your memories of specific sins, your fears and insecurities, the shame you feel because of what’s been done to you, the addictive impulses that seem to control you.
Because all the work of Christ is done for you, your sins are forgiven, you are declared righteous, and you will arise and live with him. This is why we rejoice—because faith, love, and especially hope are possible for you because of Jesus.