Read Colossians 1:5-6 (ESV)
...because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth...
How is the hope of the Gospel different from worldly hope?
Is hope just wishful thinking? Well, that depends on what you are placing your hope in. Some people place their hope in things that are not worthy. They hope for things to turn out ok but they don’t have any real basis for that belief. They just hope against hope.
But in Christ, our hope is not just wishful thinking. In today’s verse, Paul says that our hope is “laid up” in heaven. Notice that he doesn’t say he wants our hope to be laid up for us in heaven. He doesn’t say he is pretty sure it's there. He is confident. He is sure. Our hope isn’t eventually going to be there for us. He said that our hope is already stored up for us in heaven.
What is this hope? Paul went on to write that they had already heard of this hope when they heard the Gospel. The Gospel message is our basis for our hope. Later, in verse 27, Paul wrote that Christ in us is “the hope of glory.” If we have accepted Jesus Christ, we are assured that a future glory awaits us.
In Romans 8:18-25, Paul wrote: “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, we have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.”
Friends, the message of the Gospel gives us an assurance of hope. In Christ, we have a future glory stored up in heaven for us. We may be suffering now but it can’t compare to the glory that is secured for us because we have been adopted through Christ. We are now children of God! And this hope has been yours “since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth.” If you have heard the Gospel, understood God’s grace through faith, and accepted the Gospel as the truth of God, you have the hope of future glory set aside for you.
You don’t have to wish for it. You don’t have to cross your fingers. You have a reason for your hope and it’s a sure thing. That reason is Jesus Christ.
God, I know that the Gospel is Truth. Thank You for the hope that is laid up in heaven for me. I know that I can count on experiencing future glory. Help me to wait patiently and with full confidence in You. Amen.
~ Pastor Nat Crawford
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