Tim Bonney

March 13, 2021

The Importance of Hope

I was thinking today how important hope is to our outlook on life and our ability to function as human beings.

As we are seeing a rollout of Covid-19 vaccines and the possibility of more and more people being vaccinated over the next several weeks, I see a new feeling of optimism and hope among people I talk to as we can start to see light at the end of the long tunnel that has been the pandemic.

Hope for the future is one of the things that give us all the ability to plan ahead, look forward to better days, and make it through difficult times. Hope allows us to know and believe that while today may not be our best day and that the tragic years of 2020/2021 are not our best years, that there are better days and better years ahead. 

It reminded me of Paul's first letter to the Thessalonians where he found that his own belief that Christ's second coming would be immediate had to be re-thought based on the reality that Christ had not yet returned yet some believers in Christ had died waiting for that return. People started to ask Paul what had become of their loved ones? What did they have to hope in?

But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who have died, so that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have died. For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will by no means precede those who have died. For the Lord himself, with a cry of command, with the archangel’s call and with the sound of God’s trumpet, will descend from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up in the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the air; and so we will be with the Lord for ever. Therefore encourage one another with these words. (1 Thess. 4:13-18 NRSV)

Paul encouraged them not to grieve "as others who have no hope." He informed the Church that those who have died would be brought together with all of us at the time of the resurrection. He gave a word of hope and ask that Christians "encourage one another with these words." And he reminded us that "we will be with the Lord for ever."

Now is a time when we all need hope. And we all need to encourage each other. No the pandemic is not over. But we are seeing improvements daily. That gives us all hope and we need to do all we can to lift up and encourage each other as we start to see the dawn of a better day. 

In hope, faith and love

Tim Bonney, Lead Pastor
Indianola First UMC