We’ve got your daily encouragement, written by Bruce Sampson.
“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.”
2 Thessalonians 3:16
It can sometimes become very difficult to have hope, especially in an hour that feels so unpredictable and changing. It seems the higher you climb the ladder of hope, the harder the fall is when you don’t prevail or the circumstances don’t line up the way you think. Regardless of our position on heights, hope is a ladder that we must climb every day. Rather than dismissing hope all together, I think our instability comes from the doubts we have that if the ladder we’re climbing will hold us up.
Paul, a key figure in the early years of the Church, addresses the church in Thessalonica about their stability in Jesus particularly as it related to his return. After his resurrection, Jesus promises all of his followers that there will be a time of his return that would mark a day of final justice on the evil in this world. For those who have chosen to put their faith in Jesus as their substitution for their sin, there is a security and stability for them. Unfortunately the Thessalonians had a different way of thinking that led to a hope that was flimsy and failing.
There were some who were falsely announcing the return of Jesus as if the day of judgement had already come. What was meant to inspire hope for these believers, turned into confusion and fear. Their misplaced hope led to multiple responses. Some took the persecution that they were facing at the time as God’s abandonment and some thought that they needed to work to earn God’s right standing in the day of judgment while some neglected the reason to work all together.
Paul comes down hard on these believers because of the misbehavior and poor thinking caused by this attitude toward Jesus’s return. This teaches us that whatever we hope for shapes what we live for. When we have a right view of God, we have a right view about ourselves. This is why Paul prays for them saying, “may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way.”
This characteristic of God, “the Lord of peace”, should give us all confidence. It’s in his very nature to offer peace. We can climb the ladder of hope without fear because it’s stability isn’t based on us but on Christ Jesus, the man of peace.
Thank you Jesus for giving us a strong foundation to place our hope in. May our right view of you offer us peace at all time in every way. Amen.
Take some time to journal this morning and flesh out the answer to these questions:
- What are you finding your hope in today?
- How does it shape the way you are living?
- What stability have you been looking for that Jesus can provide?
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