Destiny. It was meant to be. It was destined to happen. Usually, these words are spoken when something good happens to us or to a loved one. We don’t use the word fate, saving that word for any event that we consider not favorable. And we usually admit that a higher power has made something good happen.

Paul used that word in his first letter to the Thessalonian congregation. In chapter 5 verse 10 he wrote:

“God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ who died for us”.

Paul along with the other apostles believed and taught that Jesus would return in glory in their lifetime. The people in the congregation had some concerns about loved ones who had died before Jesus returned that they might not share in the eternal life.

Paul assured them that whether they were dead or alive when Jesus returned God had destined them for salvation. Because Jesus had died and had risen again they should be very sure about their salvation and that of their loved ones who had died.

Nearly 2000 years after those words were written we can depend upon those words as true for they are the words of the eternal God who does not change. We are waiting for the Lord Jesus to return in glory.

As the seasons change, and the days get shorter and Christmas is not that far away we also face the fact that the end is coming, the end of our life on this earth and the end of all things.
The reminder that God has destined us for salvation is encouraging, the same merciful loving God who gave His son to die for us and raised him from the dead has destined us for salvation.
Longer evenings offer more quiet time for reflection and looking forward to the eternal day in the presence of our saving Lord and our loved ones who have gone on ahead of us.

As you give thanks to God tomorrow, include the word “destined” in your prayer of Thanksgiving and share the joy with those around your table.

Elmer Schiefer
Pastor. Family of Christ Lutheran Church