We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We have access by faith into this grace in which we stand through him, and we boast in the hope of God’s glory. … This hope doesn’t put us to shame, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
Romans 5:1b–2, 5next >
But we always must thank God for you, brothers and sisters who are loved by God. This is because he chose you from the beginning to be the first crop of the harvest. This brought salvation, through your dedication to God by the Spirit and through your belief in the truth. God called all of you through our good news so you could possess the honor of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold on to the traditions we taught you, whether we taught you in person or through our letter. Our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father loved us and through grace gave us eternal comfort and a good hope. May he encourage your hearts and give you strength in every good thing you do or say.
2 Thessalonians 2:13-17next >
No one really likes waiting. Waiting rooms, checkout lines, bus stops — just reading that list might set you on edge. Thank goodness that looking ahead in faith is about more than just patiently waiting! While we look forward to Jesus’s return and our eternal life with God, we have plenty to do right now.
Our part in God’s work starts with understanding how much God has done for us. Today’s reading reminds us that God loves us, God has chosen us, God has saved us. God has called us and given us eternal comfort and a good hope. This hope should motivate us to get down to business in response.
Paul outlines two big responsibilities: first, God calls us to stand firm and hold on to what we have been taught. We have to remain rooted in faith. But our work is more than just staying committed. God also calls us to do and say what is good. We bear witness to our hope by our words and actions, strengthened by God all the way.
Joshua Haysnext >
God, thank you that you have loved, chosen, and saved me. Thank you that you have called me to be your messenger of hope. Encourage and strengthen me to share this message through my words and actions that point to you. Amen.next >
looking back on what the Lord has done for you,
looking ahead in faith to what the Lord has promised,
looking around you for those in need of hope and love.
Joshua Hays is a researcher at Baylor University’s Institute for Studies of Religion and author of two books. He lives in Waco, Texas, with his wife Rebecca Poe Hays and their rescue dog Cooper.
Reflections on the Way: Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing