Comfort One Another (I Thessalonians 4:18)
I Thessalonians 4:18, Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
“Are you ready?” is a question that is asked on a regular basis in our lives. Are you ready for vacation? Ready for Christmas? Ready for the weekend? Ready for work? Ready for school? Seems we’re always getting ready for something. Of all the things we could be getting ready for, what do you think is the biggest and most important? Your wedding day? Graduation? First day on the job? How about the face-to-face encounter with God that you will have at the end of your life?
Many people look at us Christians and wonder, "Why are they so hopeful?" The reason is very simple. This life is not all there is. We are looking for something far better. We know we'll spend the rest of our lives with the LORD in Heaven. We do not need to face the future with fear. In fact, the truth of the Rapture is meant to build confidence, not doubt or uncertainty. The certain promise of the Lord’s return is one of the great sources of hope for the believer. When reading from I Thessalonians 4:13, what begins with ignorance, grief, and hopelessness ends with comfort (I Thessalonians 4:18). Only God could take the deepest of human sorrows and, in only six verses, transform them into hope. That is exactly what this passage is about—hope. Death does not have the final word. The false teachers do not have the final word. Human speculation does not have the final word. Into the darkness of our confusion, God shines the light of His truth.
Paul says we should comfort one another because of all that we know about the coming of the Lord. Comfort means to call to one's side, to call to one's aid, to comfort and exhort. The reason many are falling away and giving up on the Lord is because they have lost hope. It is our responsibility to comfort one another with the teaching of the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
When will the rapture occur? No man knows. But increasingly, we see the signs of Jesus' coming around us. Perhaps we'll be the generation that "will not die" but will be carried up to Heaven. Those who are already dead in Christ will go up first, and we'll all meet Jesus in the air.
Do I really believe this will happen, or am I clinging hopelessly to some ancient fantasy? I believe that Jesus will return as strongly as I believe anything else. Let me ask you today, do you have this hope? Are you ready to meet Him? Are you living daily like Jesus can come again? Would you commit your life daily to Jesus to live for Him and to look for Him? If Jesus came today, would you be ready? Do others around you know that Jesus Christ is your Lord and Saviour?
Questions to Consider:
Points to Ponder:
Prayer, Lord God, thank You for enabling me to trust You with every occurrence in life, even those that feel beyond my ability to endure. Help me place my hope where Your Word tells me to place it—in You and Your promise of an abundant future with You forever. My hope is found in the promise that You are coming back for me! On those days when I struggle, it’s such an encouragement that this life is not all there is. Help me to be always ready for Your return. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.