“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.” 1 Thessalonians 4:17
The time of Paul was very close after the time of Jesus leaving the earth. The early church had believed the words of Jesus that He would return soon. Some were concerned about those who died. Paul says that when Jesus returns all the dead shall be raised. After that everyone who is still alive and serving Him shall be received with them to live forever with Jesus in heaven.
Everyone loves to look forward to something good that is going to happen. Seniors in school, whether high school or college, look forward to graduating soon. Those in the military look forward to getting out when their time in service is up. Workers, who have worked the same job for many years, look forward to retiring as it gets closer.
Having these things to look forward to gives people hope and strength to keep going forward. The challenges that they face in getting to that point suddenly have more meaning and value.
As a believer, you have a future hope that is greater than any graduation or retirement on this earth. You have the hope of eternity with Jesus and His Father in heaven, the Ones who made it possible. You have the hope of perfect life and health. No more sorrow, pain, sickness, or suffering will be in your future.
Along with all this great stuff, you will also be able to be with all those who have died before Jesus returns. All your loved ones in your family line who followed Jesus before you and died will be there. All the people who helped lead you to Jesus and have passed on, will be there.
This should give you great hope and joy today. Know and understand the future you have. Encourage yourself and others with these words. You have a bright future ahead if you stay with Jesus through everything.
I pray today that God will give you a vision of your future; that you will know the salvation Jesus offers you; that you will be encouraged to live for Jesus today; that you will not fear the future; and that God will draw many to Jesus through you.