An African student heard his teacher quote 1 Thessalonians 4:16. It says that when Christ returns, he will give a shout and a command. The student asked, “What command will Jesus give?” The teacher thought for a moment then said, “Maybe the command will be ‘Enough! Enough suffering, sickness, and death; enough terror and exploitation; enough lives trapped in hopelessness.’” Whatever the command, it will give hope to those who know Jesus Christ as their Savior. In the words of Psalm 47, God’s people clap their hands as they anticipate God’s Son claiming and rewarding His people. They applaud God’s rule over the whole earth—past, present, and future. The psalmist anticipated the work God’s Son would do when He came into the world. By His precepts, examples, and death for our sins, Jesus displayed God’s amazing love for us. In rising from the dead, Christ assumed His title of Priest-King. His resurrection proved He had won the victory over death, and now deserved the title as Lord over heaven and earth. Today, He gives us hope as He enables us to carry out His purpose in the world. He empowers us to say no to sin; to show love to others; to foster justice and right conduct in our world. We do this even as we anticipate the day He returns to establish His kingdom on earth, and to reward us for all we do for Him.
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