Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of your love for all the saints; because of the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel, Colossians 1:4-5 NKJV
The Colossians had faith, love and hope, so much so that it was heard of by others who didn’t live in Colosse. When you think about faith, love, and hope what do you suppose are the identifying attributes that cause people to take notice? Faith is trusting in God no matter what the circumstance may look like.
Let’s look at a few versus where Jesus points out faith of others.
- In Matthew 8:9-11 in the story of the centurion “When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, “Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!” The Centurion believed and told Jesus to just say the word and his servant would be healed.
- In Matthew 9:1-3 “Then behold, they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. When Jesus saw their faith…” Jesus probably got a kick out of seeing these four guys tear up the roof to lower their paralytic friend down in front of Jesus to be healed. These friends acted so their friend could be healed. Their faith was demonstrated.
- Hebrews 11:1 says “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
Faith demonstrates belief. We can see how important faith is in Matthew 9:29 “Then He touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith let it be to you.” If things are done according to our faith, then we better start implementing our faith, don’t you think?
What about hope? How can you tell someone has hope? If they have hope, they have faith. No hope, no faith. The two are integrated and can not be separated.
- Hebrews 6:19 says “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast.”
- First Peter 1:13 says we should rest in hope: “Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;”
In who do we hope? First Peter 1:20-22 tells us “so that your faith and hope are in God.” Having hope in our Lord, means we wait patiently for His promises to come to pass. First Thessalonians 1:3 “remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father.” Remember every word He speaks will not return void as Isaiah 55:11 says “So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”
We’ve looked at faith and hope, now we’ll look at love. How is love demonstrated?
Luke gives us a clue in Luke 6:35 “But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High.” God’s love is greater for John says John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Jesus said in John 15:13 “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” We too, should lay aside our selves for the love of others.
Why do we love, because Jesus commanded it.
- John 13:34-36 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
- First Corinthians 13:13 “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
Apparently, the Colossians were doing all this and Paul takes note of it and re-confirms they are following the truth of the gospel. This reminds me to always affirm others when I see them following the word of God too! Who can you affirm today?
Father above, how great you are! Thank you for your hope that does not disappoint, your love that never fails and faith that lasts forever. In Jesus’ name we pray Amen.