This past Sunday we spent time looking at a model church in the book of 2 Thessalonians. As you reflect on 2 Thessalonians 1:1-5 it is obvious that this church had a mature faith that produced authentic love for one another and tenacious hope in Christ. The idea of hope is not specific to the Thessalonians, it is the heart of the gospel and it is present in every scripture passage found in the Bible.
Perhaps you remember the words of Jesus in John 5:6. His words although spoken many years ago are instructive for our troubled world today. Jesus is talking to a man waiting for a miracle at the pool of Bethesda, and Jesus questioned, “Do you want to be healed?” It is obvious from this passage that this man by the pool was in great despair and without hope.
The loss of hope is an obvious contradiction for those who claim faith in Jesus. The gospel moves believes from a life of despair to eternal hope. Because we live in a broken world we too can find ourselves in the midst of various trials that has the potential to erode the very fabric of hope.
It is difficult to have tenacious hope in a broken world. Proverbs 13:12 says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick.” That is, when we hope we make ourselves vulnerable to disappointment. Things don’t always go as planned—and that can cause pain and despair. But is the answer to abolish all hope? To stop praying? To inflict pain on others because of the pain we feel? To give in to futility and anger?
The gospel calls us to respond differently. The world offers a hopeless end but Christ offers an endless hope. Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit shares practical advise to the church in Thessalonica. “See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people. Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:15-18
I pray that God uses our study of 2 Thessalonians to establish a tenacious hope as we grow in Christlikeness.
Our Pastor writes most of the blog posts we publish, however, occasionally some of our other church leadership (some staff, some volunteer) who also contribute to the New Life blog.