Until Jesus Returns

I’m so excited to begin a new series in 1 Thessalonians this coming Sunday.  This letter differs from so many of Paul’s other writings.  In this letter to the Thessalonian church he wasn’t addressing any doctrinal issue or a departure from faith…he was addressing hope.  Specifically hope in Jesus’ return.  And how profoundly important hope is.

Humans seek after hope like moths seek after light. It’s intrinsic to who we are. Neuroscientists Tali Sharot argues hope is so essential to our survival that it is hardwired into our brains, arguing it can be the difference between living a healthier life versus one trapped by despair.

Studies show hopeful college kids get higher GPA’s and are more likely to graduate.  Hopeful athletes perform better on the field, cope better with injuries, and have greater mental adjustment when situations change.  In one study of the elderly, those who said they felt hopeless were more than twice as likely to die during the study follow-up period than those who were more hopeful.

It’s pretty clear: hope is powerfully catalytic, and why Dr. Shane Lopez, the psychologist who was regarded as the world’s leading researcher on hope, claimed that hope isn’t just an emotion but an essential life tool.

This coming Sunday we’ll look at how hope relates to the Christian experience…and the following Sunday we’ll look at how we are to respond to the hope of Jesus’ return.

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