1 Thessalonians 4:17-18  …and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.  (ESV)

There is a great reunion coming that provides great reason for us to encourage one another. Twice in just a handful of verses Paul tells us that the return of Christ gives us reason to “encourage one another and build one another up” (5:11). Life is hard, but when Jesus comes and finally sets all things right, two things will happen with us as believers: 1) we will be reunited with all of the saints (holy ones) – past, present and future; and 2) we will all be with Jesus from that day forward forever. What a day! What a joy that will be!

This is not it. What we see is not all there is. There is a kingdom, the kingdom of God. Sometimes its hard to see. Other times we get a glimpse and it seems clear as day! Grab onto that moment. Don’t forget it. Tell your friends. Because that moment is a foretaste of things to come – the consummation of the kingdom of God. “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are words-of-encouragementdoing” (5:11). Keep doing it. If you haven’t been doing it – start! Don’t grow weary in the well doing (Gal. 6:9) of exhortation and encouragement. The return of Christ is a source of great hope. We have faith, hope and love (yes, Paul’s great triad is right here too – 5:6).

Stir up hope in me, Lord. Fill me with a great love for Your holy ones – the people of God. Multiply faith in me. Give me the gift of encouragement. Your kingdom come, Lord. Bring Your kingdom.

In Jesus’ name – Amen,