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 doing1 Thess. 5:9-11

Heavenly Father, this Scripture is just what we need as we begin this September Monday. It is pregnant with so much encouragement and hope. There’re many things over which we have zip control—broken stories and challenging people, difficult circumstances and unresolved diagnoses. Some things may or may not get easier this side of heaven.

But we do know this. Because of the finished work of Jesus, our future contains zero judgment and 100% joyful intimacy with you; zilch sin (in us or around us) and 100% Christlikeness; not a tad of brokenness and 100% beautiful, life-giving, heart-thrilling everything. Our forever isn’t merely going to be “okay,” but magnificent beyond our wildest dreams and hopes.

Until then, Father, make us tenacious encouragers and faithful “builder-upper’s” of our friends, gospel-posse, and family members. Thank you for the privilege we have of bearing one another’s burdens and showing up in each other’s stories.

Father, thank you—whether we die before Jesus returns, or live to see that blessed Day, we are your beloved children, now and forever. Nothing can separate us from your love, deplete your mercies, or exhaust your grace.

Thank you that the darkest clouds often bring the most refreshing rains—that boasting in our weakness is still the surest way to taste your exquisite sweetness. Thank you for remaining tenaciously committed to work in all things for our good, and for your glory.

May our words and hugs, prayers and presence bring timely encouragement and living hope to others all week long. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ tender and triumphant name.