Journal Entry ~ 01/20/19
21 And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds,
22 he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him,
23 if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister. - Colossians 1:21-23
Since we were once separated and unforgiven, but now made whole through our relationship with Christ, we have to constantly be battling who the world says we are and find our identity in who He says we are. But that can be so challenging some days. When the world is shouting our failures at us, it can be easy to lose hope. So, Paul tells us how to push through the negativity of outsiders in verse 23.
First, we must be firmly established in our faith. This means in times of distress the Word of God needs to be so firmly planted within our hearts that we are not easily swayed. This world can be a difficult place navigate, and if we do not have a solid understanding of who God is, we can so easily get lost. When we are lost, the world dictates our thoughts and our decisions, our motivation and our actions, our emotions and our identities. But when we are in the Word every day, we are given an eternal perspective and we are reminded that our identity is in Him. Emotions no longer dictate our responses because we understand that our paths are directed by Him. We no longer fear the future because we know He will work all things out for the good of those who love him.
Next, Paul reminds us to be steadfast in our faith. This means we must stand firmly on the foundation of Christ and not easily be moved. We may be shaken, we may be knocked to the ground, but we must remain steadfast in our confidence that God is sovereign over our circumstances. Far too often, Christians allow their faith to be negotiated by the world. The world’s standards can rub up against God’s standard and cause conflict in the heart and in the home. So many people back off from what God calls them to do in the interest of making life easier. But, my friends, falling short of what God calls us to do is sin. Where sin exists in your life, there will be turmoil. Don’t compromise what He calls you to do.
Finally, Paul tells us we must not easily lose our hope. Living in this world, our hope can so easily be replaced with the world’s hope. The reality is we are constantly hoping for something - many of us live from one moment we’re hoping for to the next. But the hope of things in this world will only leave us feeling empty in the end. There is only one Hope, and His name is Jesus. Ignore the lies of the world, and place our Hope in the One who is faithful to fulfill His promises.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
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