God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. 1 Thess. 5:9-11 (ESV)
Heavenly Father, there are many things over which we don’t have any control; many outcomes that remain hidden from us; and many broken stories and broken people that may, or may not, get better this side of heaven.
But this passage of Scripture assures us of these things: Because of Jesus’ finished work, our future contains absolutely zero judgment for our sins and not a single expression of brokenness—in anyone, anywhere. Rather, we will experience 100% joyful welcome, the fullness of your delight, and perfect relationship with you forever. Nothing is going to be merely “okay.” Everything is going to be magnificent, right, and beautiful—beyond our wildest dreams and hopes.
Because of such a grand hope, free us to live as genuine encouragers, “builder-uppers,” and hope-dispensers—for our families, friends, and neighbors. Thank you for the privilege we have of bearing one another’s burdens; showing up in one another’s stories; holding one another accountable for believing the gospel; giving each other the perspective of eternity at low times, and life-giving feedback during our wandering times.
Father, thank you that, whether we die before Jesus returns, or live to see that blessed Day, we are, right now, your beloved children—called, loved, and kept. Nothing can ever separate us from your love, deplete your mercies or exhaust your grace.
Thank you that the darkest clouds often bring the most refreshing rains, and that boasting in our weakness is still the best way to taste the sweetness of the gospel. Indeed, Father, make us encouragers with this good news and living hope, as long as you keep us in this world. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ tender and triumphant name.