Do you ever have that kind of Tuesday morning when you’re trying to write a Bible study on Colossians, and you haven’t been able to get a Jason Aldean song out of your head for three days?
Well I’m having it now.
Nineteen ninety-four, Joe Diffie comin’ out my radio, I’m just a country boy with a farmer’s tan…
But if Paul can write from prison, so can I, friends. So can I.
In the last post, we learned just how desperately thankful Paul is for the Colossians. In this post, we’ll begin to find out why. He is grateful for them
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.
The verse is beautifully curious for what it says, but even more so for what it does not: Paul is not thankful for the Colossians because of their exemplary behavior or their ability to follow the rules or their deep knowledge of theology.
He is not thankful for them because they are great parents, or because they are good at Bible study and prayer, or because they actually complete projects on Pinterest rather than just making macaroni and cheese again for lunch, hoping that one day they will have the energy to cut their kids’ sandwiches into adorable owl shapes.
The virtues that commend these new Christians to Paul, causing his life to pour over in gratitude for theirs, is faith in Christ Jesus and love for the saints. We’ll come back over the next week to talk more about these.
But today we’ll focus in on the reason they have this faith and love: because of the hope laid up for them in heaven.
I often lean on all kinds of hope:
The hope that I will become a better person
The hope that the people I love will treat me like I want to be treated
The hope that my life will go as planned
The hope that my family can stay safe in a crazy world
I can tell when I am leaning on these temporary hopes because of what they produce in my heart: anxiety and self-focus, the very opposites of faith and love. My life becomes small and closed off, consumed with worry, comparison and my own desires.
So I stop. A thousand times a day if I have to. I pry my hands off my hope in this world and grasp at the one laid up for me in heaven — the reality that here and now will never satisfy me, that Christ’s love for me is infinite, and that heaven is real.
Only then do I glimpse the true Kelly that Christ died in order to raise to life, the one who shines for her faith and love.
Only then does the knowledge that my life is eternal keep me from demanding that this life bring me everything I need.
We’re all clinging to a rock of some kind. Let ours be the Rock of Ages, the hope laid up for us in heaven.
All other ground is sinking sand.
Read the next post in The Colossians Project here.