Jesus and His Holy Ones

  • March 17, 2015
  • #8577

Jesus is coming back soon, but until then, what can you do to encourage your brothers and sisters in Christ?

Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada with comforting and encouraging words.

And the words can be found in I Thessalonians.  I remember it as though it were yesterday.  Last fall as Ken and I were doing our Bible reading program, we arrived at I Thessalonians.  Now, it had been a hard day and I was tired, struggling against pain in my hip.  I had woken up that morning in a lot of discomfort, and even though I had laid down at work to adjust my corset two times, still, my hip and lower back were in deep pain.  All day long I had battled against feeling discouraged, and I was tired and weary of trying to persevere.  So much so, that I frankly didn’t have the mental energy to concentrate on what Ken was about to read from I Thessalonians. 

But we prayed and I asked God to revive my spirits and open my ears.  I really needed a fresh infusion of grace to help me through the rest of the night.  So, Ken began reading — it was the fascinating recitation of that glorious day when Jesus returns with all His holy ones.  And, oh, what a day that will be.  Ken read on to chapter 4 starting with verse 16 where it says, “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, and the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.  After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.  And so we will be with the Lord forever.  Therefore, encourage each other with these words.”

Ken kept reading on, but I had paused to reflect on those wonderful words from the apostle Paul, "Therefore, encourage one another with these words."  Oh, did that lift my heart — it was as though God had thrown open the shutters of heaven to remind me of that soon and coming reality.  Suddenly, despite the pain, I could see the big picture — I could see the finish line; I could see the end of the race and, oh, was it exhilarating.  Just hearing about the coming of the Lord with all His holy ones gave me a second wind and I found courage to go on. 

You know, in some Christian circles you don’t talk much these days about the coming of Christ.  Some, it seems, have grown tired of waiting; others, are focused on more practical aspects of the Gospel in the here and now.  A shout from an archangel or a blast of a heavenly trumpet seems so far distant, so far removed from our everyday lives.  But when trials feel overwhelming and when pain encroaches; when our souls become dry and dull from ordinary things, God's Word tells us to encourage each other with the Good News of Christ's soon return. 

And that’s what I want to do with you today.  Because friend one day, Isaiah the prophet tells us, sorrow and sighing shall flee away and the anointed of the Lord shall obtain joy and gladness forever.  We shall enter Zion with singing and everlasting joy will crown our heads.  There will be no more sorrow; no more night or pain; no more disease or death.  One day you and I, we're going to see the whole universe in plain sight and we will burn with the brilliant newness of being glorified.  And then, earth with all its pain and sorrow will seem like a half-forgotten dream; pleasant enough, yes, but nowhere near as glorious as being at home with the Lord forever and ever.  Friend that day is not far off — really it’s not.  The Lord is on His way back.  So pass on the Good News along and comfort one another with these wonderful words.  And if you need more encouragement, visit my radio page today at joniandfriends.org.

© Joni and Friends

 

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