Daily Devotional: Colossians 1:3-5
The Hope of Heaven
"We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel...." -Colossians 1:3-5
This time of global pandemic and extended quarantine has caused to ask, “What will the future look like after all this?” There are a lot of questions about how we might do things differently as a society, whether it is limited air travel or wearing masks in public permanently. There are also many who are questioning what they have put their hopes in. Take removal of distractions + forced quarantine (think solitude) + constant news of ever increasing number of deaths from global virus = revealing what you put your hope in.
As Christians, this is a gift from God to refine our own hearts and remind us that our hope rests eternally in Christ. Paul gives thanks for the Colossians in Colossians 1:3, “since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints.” What would compel the church at Colossae to continue in faith in Christ and love towards all the saints? Paul says in verse 5 that it is “because of the hope laid up for you in heaven.”
The Colossian believers have a hope, a rock-solid, God-given expectation that their salvation is sure; it is not something that they stored up themselves; it was laid up for them through Christ’s atoning, saving work on the cross.
I am struck by how the Colossians future hope in heaven affected their earthly endeavors. Are we as Christians truly looking towards heaven and the hope that has been set for us there? If not, why? What keeps us from letting the “word of the truth, the gospel,” (verse 5) take hold in hearts? Have we been caught up in the distractions of the world? Have we subtly let the world drift us from a hope in heaven, to a hope in something else? Are we scared of death as the “thing” that ends enjoyment here on earth?
What is implicit in Paul’s encouragement here is that for believers to fully experience this hope in heaven, they will have to cease life on this earth. We will die—but we know ultimately this death is temporary as we are resurrected to a new, eternal life with Christ in heaven.
Beloved church family, I pray that God would remind you of the hope laid up for you in heaven; this hope you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel. May this hope continue to buoy your faith in Christ, and power your love for the saints. Let us live as those with hope, not without.