Jesus Thoughts …

“We do not want you to … grieve like the rest … who have no hope.” (1 Thessalonians 4:13)

The dictionary defines grief as “a keen, mental suffering, or distress over loss.” Philosophy teacher Nick Wolterstorff states that suffering occurs “when something prized or loved is ripped away or never granted.” None of us escapes suffering; all will know the grief of loss. Yet there are degrees of grief. Some people experience a grief that’s intense, almost too much to endure. For others, grief is more like a nagging presence, a spoiler.

The Bible does not deny that there is much heartbreak; nor does it forbid us a sad face as though tears were a betrayal of faith. But it does warn against despair, the settled conviction that all will come to a bad end. The Scriptures dare to speak of hope even in the face of death. There are many reasons for gathering for worship on Sunday — some better than others.

As we gather today, let’s do so in the desire to honor God and renew our trust in the Lord. Only in God can we be seized by the hope mentioned in our Scripture reading for today. This is a hope that believes, despite all devastating evidence to the contrary, that Jesus will one day restore every inch of this planet to live with us and reunite us with our loved ones. When we are ignorant of this hope, grief wins.

Prayer
Almighty God, we gather together to give you all praise and glory, renewing our trust in You for the hope you give us. In Jesus’s name, Amen.

Stay encouraged!
Pastor Mike

Devotion Archive

Devotion for December 5, 2020

"We do not want you to ... grieve like the rest ... who have no hope." (1 Thessalonians 4:13) The dictionary defines grief as "a ...
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Devotion for December 4, 2020

"Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with ... the anxieties of life ..." (Luke 21:34 ) The New York Times carried the ...
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Devotion for December 3, 2020

"As you sent me into the world [Father], I have sent them into the world." (John 17:18) The Bible describes Jesus’ followers in a number ...
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Devotion for December 2, 2020

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I ...
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Devotion for December 1, 2020

"But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, 'This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.'" (Luke 15:2) The Bible says concerning the ...
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Devotion for November 30, 2020

"I will ... praise your name for your unfailing love and your faithfulness." (Psalm 138:2a) It’s quite easy to complain, isn’t it? Standing in the ...
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Devotion for November 29, 2020

"A quick-tempered man does foolish things, and a crafty man is hated." (Proverbs 14:17) The truth is that when your temper gets the best of ...
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Devotion for November 28, 2020

“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) Jesus makes a bold ...
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Devotion for November 27, 2020

"Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." (James 4:7) Have you ever watched someone doing resistance training? They ...
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Devotion for November 26, 2020

"Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward ...
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Devotion for November 25, 2020

“Blessed is the king of Israel!” (John 12:13) Many first-century Jews had hopes that their promised Messiah would be a political leader, someone who could ...
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Devotion for November 24, 2020

"So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.'” ...
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