enjoying Christ-centred hope (COlossians 1:24-27)

February 22nd, 2024

24 Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church. 25 I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness— 26 the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. 27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

If one thing is for certain, our modern age has become filled with an increasing sense of hopelessness. This is to be expected in our atheistic North American society. But how can we respond to these thoughts and feelings when they inevitably arise? How do Christians continue to have hope despite the countless battles and struggles of life? Our passage today will help us. Let us focus our attention to the last few words of verse 27, "Christ in you, the hope of glory". 

Much of our weakness today is that we tend to treat "hope" just as the world does. We would prefer that our circumstances and our feelings grant to us a sense of "hope". We want life to feel hopeful so that we be hopeful. Essentially, we seem to only appear hopeful when life is perfectly oriented in our favour. However, anyone who is a Christian knows that this will not always be the case for our lives. In this world we will have trouble just as the Lord, Jesus proclaimed to us in John 16:33. But, the Lord finished His statement by urging us to not be intimidated by the world around us. For although this world is filled to the brim with all kinds of trouble, Jesus has already overcome the world! The word "overcome" here gives to us a sense of conquest in which the Lord, Jesus has subdued the world and stripped it of all its power. Ultimately, Jesus wants us to never be afraid of this world ever again.

This, precisely, is the key to enjoying a permanent sense of hope. The hope that we carry is not one tied to the perfect family makeup, the perfect job, the perfect home nor any other position in this earthly life. On the contrary, our hope is eternally bound to our position in Christ. We have to realize that our position in life can be changed and altered at any given moment! Family members may come and go. Finances will come and go. Feelings will come and go. The only sure position granted to us is the miracle of being placed in Christ and Christ being placed in us! Have you considered what a wonderful reality this is? This is far beyond being placed in a church. It's far beyond finding belonging in a family. The Bible is reminding us today that the God of the entire universe gave His life so that He can live within us. While all other religious and worldly roads demand the person to go somewhere else to find hope, the God of Christianity came right to us. And not only has He come close, but He has chosen to make His dwelling place within our own hearts (Ephesians 2:22)

Jesus died and rose so that we would never again find ourselves yearning for the world to grant to us hope. Now in Christ, we can enjoy every spiritual blessing that heaven has to offer us. We are filled with the innumerable joys of heaven because we are able to experience a victory like no other. We awake every brand new day thankful that we are born again into a living hope through Christ's resurrection (1 Peter 1:3). We hope because God's love has been poured out into hearts by faith and through the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5). We hope because we have gained a right standing with God through Jesus Christ and can freely enter into His throne of grace (Hebrews 4:16). We hope because although we do not see Him, we love him; and even though we cannot see Him now, we believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy (1 Peter 1:8). And lastly, we hope because we know our God is for us and He will never be against us (Romans 8:31).

It is worth reminding our soul today that there is an everlasting hope deposited within. Not only a hope that sustains us in this life, but a hope that carries us into the glory of heaven. Reflect upon your trials, your struggles and even your prayers today. Has your position in life determined your sense of hope? Have we dismissed the overcoming power of Christ in our pursuit of hope? I pray that God would fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in more hope (Romans 15:13).

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