1. 1 Thessalonians 1:3 (ESV)
  2. Exposition

What kind of hope is this?

1 Thessalonians 1:3 (ESV)

3 remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

This hope was not an uncertain wish for the future, such as when we hope that our national soccer team will win the Africa Cup of Nations or the World Cup. This hope has to do with [an] absolute certainty about the future based on Christ’s resurrection,1 a certainty that had taken root in the Thessalonian believers’ minds. The content of the hope was the assurance that Jesus would return from heaven to deliver his people from God’s judgment (1 Thessalonians 1:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:2–3). Such hope inspired steadfastness because it convinced the new believers that all their sufferings would be rewarded. Instead of looking forward to the everlasting destruction and eternal separation from God that await those who reject the gospel (2 Thessalonians 1:8–9), those who follow Jesus will meet the Lord in the air and will be with the Lord forever (1 Thessalonians 4:17).