Isn’t it true that our expectations about the future change how we think and act in the present?
Such as the last day at work before you go on holiday – normally it might be gruelling work, but the excitement of a well-earned rest on the immediate horizon utterly changes your work- you joyfully fill in that spreadsheet, or hoover the floor, or help that frustrating patient… all because you know what’s to come. Or watching a football match replayed or even a film you know the ending to? The future hope changes the current reality. Looking wider, at our lives in Christ Jesus, the sports match/film analogy is a good one.
Our “hope” isn’t some woolly vague hope, but a certainty of how it ends: we know that we are in Jesus, he has conquered death, he has done it and we can look forward to being with God for eternity. This hope is not some heady knowledge, but it has profound practical implications. The future hope we have should change how we view our own lives in the here and now- whether it is prayer, suffering, relationships, work, sex, sickness or even death, this hope shapes everything. It makes us want to “live in order to please God” (1 Thess 4:1).
This Sunday evening kicks off the Great Expectations series on 1 Thessalonians to see what this hope means practically for the Christian who is in Christ Jesus.