Paul begins his letter to the Colossians with his personal encouragement at their faith in Christ and love for one another. As we will see in this letter, this faith in Christ is not a feel-good story we are to believe when we are sad. Instead, it’s rooted in the truth that Christ is Lord and our faith in Him is not in vain.
Mark Twain once wrote that “faith is believing what you know ain’t so.” In our culture today, the word faith is often associated with believing something against all odds. But this isn’t how Scripture asks us to believe in Jesus. We are called to trust in a real savior, not a fairy tale.
In fact, pastor and author Tim Keller has written that, “It is not the strength of your faith but the object of your faith that actually saves you. Strong faith in a weak branch is fatally inferior to weak faith in a strong branch.”
This means that faith in the wrong thing will not save us. We need to trust in something real, otherwise our faith is in vain. The Gospel is the good news that Jesus is Lord and has done for us what we could never do for ourselves. It’s good news because it is true.
And not only that, but God uses ordinary people like you and I to spread this extraordinary news. Jesus’ resurrection took place roughly 30 years before Paul wrote Colossians. At the time of his writing, the Gospel had already reached the Colossians, not through an Apostle, but by an ordinary man named Epaphras.
Now, Paul is praying for the believers in Colossae to be strengthened in their faith and to endure with joy, which is made possible because of the inheritance coming to all who are in Christ.
In fact, it is only in Christ that we can face difficult times with joy. Not because we enjoy hardships, but because we know this isn’t the end. Christ makes it possible to endure in suffering because his promises aren’t a feel-good story. His promises are true.
How does it encourage you to know that we believe in a real and true God? What difficulties are you currently facing that cause you to forget that your current hardships will not last forever?