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Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope, comfort you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

When the Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Thessalonica he was writing to a people who had all but given up hope. It seemed to them that the anti-Christian forces were overtaking them and soon they would be defeated. The truth of the gospel had become a mockery to everyone, so it seemed.

Paul’s words here are actually a prayer. He prays that those who are feeling hopeless in the midst of trial and despair would be comforted and strengthened by God’s grace. There is it again. That word GRACE. Grace is the building block on which everything we say and do is built. Grace says that even though we are powerless to do anything to deserve hope, we are granted hope because of Jesus.

Grace says that even though our efforts to live for Christ are thwarted by evil in the social and political realm, we have hope and comfort because of God’s love for us. Grace isn’t dependent on government or legal systems or financial stability. Hope is grounded in Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. No human system or spiritual darkness will change that.

Grace says that even though it seems like everything is stacked against me, the good that I do will not go unnoticed. My efforts for Christ may be ignored or misunderstood by others. My commitment to live by God’s standards and not worldly standards may be labeled old fashioned or intolerant by forces of darkness, but my Father in Heaven sees my heart and my actions and gives me comfort.

Don’t let the forces of evil discourage you. Don’t allow Satan, the great deceiver, to trick you into thinking that things are out of control. Things are out of our control, but they have never been in our control. Everything that is going on around us is under the control of a Loving, Sovereign, Grace-full God. Put your hope and comfort in Him. Let the truth of God’s word empower you as you continue to do and say good things in his name.

The world system wants you to believe there is hope in politics, money or religion. The only hope we have is through grace given us in Jesus Christ.

PRAYER: Father God, I confess to you that I look around me and don’t always find a lot to be hope-full about. The political world scares me. The financial and legal system are a shambles. Religions that don’t acknowledge you as the Creator/Sustainer of the world seem to be overtaking us Christ-followers. I ask that you would empower me by your Spirit to remember that my hope is built on Grace through Jesus Christ. May I go about my day doing and saying good things to glorify you, Amen.

 

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