We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, concerning those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve like the rest, who have no hope. 1 Thessalonians 4:13
I’ve been thinking about that last phrase lately—about “the rest, who have no hope.”
We humans need hope. Our world is full of pain, suffering, evil, injustice, and plain old bad luck. How can we face it all without hope?
Unfortunately, too many of us put our hopes in all sorts of things that are bound to disappoint. Just think of all whose hopes were crushed when Trump was elected. If Hillary had been elected instead, many Trump supporters would be the ones with crushed hopes. (No matter the outcome, somebody loses.)
We cannot rest our hopes in leaders, governments or empires. Nor can we put our hopes in military might, success, money, our spouse, our children, or any other person.
Because all those things can fail us. Leaders fail to uphold their promises. Government regimes come and go. People don’t live up to our expectations. Wealth can be lost in any number of ways.
There is only one solid foundation upon which to build our hopes—one source that will never fail:
The character and promises of God.
We can rest our hopes in a loving and powerful God, who promises to forgive all our mistakes (yes, all of them, even the worst), work things out for our best (note that is often not the comfiest option), and welcome us into his eternal kingdom. When we stand on God and his truth, we are not like those who have no hope.
In God, we have a hope that cannot be stolen, destroyed, or voted out of office. A hope both for this life and the next. No matter what the world throws at us.
I don’t know how anyone faces the grim realities of life without the hope that is firmly rooted in an unchangeable God.
I hope you have such hope today.
Through him we have confidently entered into this new relationship of grace, and here we take our stand, in happy certainty of the glorious things he has for us in the future. This doesn’t mean, of course, that we have only a hope of future joys—we can be full of joy here and now even in our trials and troubles. Taken in the right spirit these very things will give us patient endurance; this in turn will develop a mature character, and a character of this sort produces a steady hope, a hope that will never disappoint us. Romans 5:2-4 (Phillips)