Daily Devotional: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14
A few nights ago, as my wife walked our six-year-old daughter up the stairs to bed, Emily asked, “Mommy, what does it mean to be hopeful when things are sad?” She asked this as we recently explained to the kids about the death of a loved one and she was teary and sad.
We were explaining to the kids that although the death of a loved one is excruciatingly sad, we can rejoice that those who know and follow Jesus are those who have eternal hope. Thus, the question does arise, what does it mean to have hope and to be hopeful?
Being hopeful is the conviction of the confident expectation in God, that what He has promised He will faithfully carry out. Our hope is not merely a something, but a Someone!
As my wife tenderly shared eternal truths into the ears of a young soul who was grieving over death, she said to her, “Although death is so sad, we are hopeful knowing that, in Jesus, the Christian will be alive forevermore with Him in eternity.”
We are not those who grieve as those without hope (I Thessalonians 4:13). We are those who can walk in full confidence and trust that Jesus conquered death—that is, Jesus put death to death—and “through his death he destroyed the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and He would deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.” (Hebrews 2:14-15)
Jesus “had to be made like his brothers in every respect so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.” (Hebrews.2:17) Jesus has taken the payment we deserved for our sin!
Christians are continually exhorted to ‘Fear not….’ (Revelation 1:17) We are called to ‘fear not’ because of who Jesus is and what He has accomplished.
He is the merciful and faithful high priest, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead and the ruler of kings on earth. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the one who was and who is and who is to come, the Almighty, the one who died and, behold, is alive forevermore! (Revelation 1)
Jesus is the great and glorious conqueror and we who are in Christ are those called to ‘fear not.’ We have a sure and steady anchor of hope. Our hope is built upon Jesus who lived, died and rose from the dead!
Let the glory of Christ Jesus and Him as our hope be readily upon our tongue as the Lord grants opportunity to testify of Him in the midst of trial, suffering and death in this world.