The first time I decided to see a psychologist it was because I wanted to discuss the topic of hope. I’d wrestled with hope, tried to kill, came to a point of hating it and yet it still persisted. Amidst the psychologists many memorable lines was the comment “If you’ve missed the bus, you need to catch another bus.” My problem was that I didn’t want to catch another bus. I was hoping that the bus would return and collect me. And so I was in despair. I could well relate to King Solomon, who in his wisdom wrote “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” (Proverbs 13:12)
As Adam Clarke, 18th C Methodist theologian wrote “When once a good is discovered… and the reality of the thing and the certainty of the promise are manifest, hope posts forward to realize the blessing. Delay in the gratification pains the mind; the increase of the delay prostrates and sickens the heart; and if delay sickens the heart, ultimate disappointment kills it.” Amen brother! The church at Thessaloniki, I’ve no doubt, would have related to this. Paul writes to encourage this fledging church to keep on keeping on. Such has been their faith and witness to the gospel of Christ, in the face of severe suffering, that word has travelled far. Yet there were those at Thessaloniki whose hope in Christ had begun to wain in the face of such opposition. This coupled with the fact that Christ had not yet returned provided fertile ground for disappointment and despair. So Paul writes to encourage them, that they do indeed have a reason to sing, that their hope is no vain one, but indeed the only hope worth staking a life on.
Join us over the next 6 weeks as we discover a reason to sing, are encouraged by the Thessalonians and indeed affirm our own hope in Jesus.