LIFE WITH JESUS
My Lord, I can’t wait to see You face to face. May I catch a glimpse of Your presence and glory today.
Read 1 Thessalonians 4:13–18
Believers Who Have Died
13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Reflect‘For we will see Him as He is … all hurt and pain will cease … and in His glory we will live’ (Norman Fellingham).1
From the outworking of love in everyday life, Paul takes us to the big picture: the future event of Jesus’ return. Our daily lives are put into the context of a vast, divine hope. It is a hope that springs from the truth of the gospel narrative that Paul deftly weaves into his practical instructions (14): in beautiful and profound simplicity, Jesus died and rose again.
Paul then looks to the future hope of Christians being fully reunited with God, and with each other. What does verse 16 tell us about the nature of God and His power? The uncertainty of when Jesus’ return will happen and what exactly it will be like is set against the certainty of the promise that we will be with the Lord forever (17). How does this promise make you feel? Is it reassuring or unsettling? Why?
The Thessalonians were anxious and confused about what happened to people who died trusting in Jesus (13). Again, Paul’s purpose is to encourage. Living in the reality of resurrection hope is, for both us and the Thessalonians, a source of deep comfort. ‘And so we will be with the Lord forever’ (17).
1‘There is a Day,’ © 2001 Thankyou Music
Are you longing for change in an area of your life? Pray about it, trusting the strength of God’s truth, power and promise as already demonstrated in the resurrection.
Jesus, I trust You. I know that Your promises hold true, even when I don’t know all the details.
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