(Colossians 1:3-14), Paul then explains why He thanks God for them. “Because we have heard” (4). Whenever you hear a good report of someone, including something from me in India, do not give me or the ones involved the credit, thank God and give Him the glory for it wouldn’t happen if it weren’t for Him. I don’t send blogs to draw attention to myself but so God can be thanked for all that is happening, so your faith can be strengthened, and so you can know how to pray.
Paul thanks God because of what He heard about the Colossians. What did he hear? Did it have to do with how busy the church was or its size? Was it their budget, their music program or even their outreach program? It was none of these. What impressed Paul and brought glory to God was three things: the faith, love and hope of the people themselves.
“We have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus” (4) is the first reason Paul is thankful. Evidently the story of their conversion went all the way to the prison in Rome where Paul heard of it. Their walk with the Lord began in faith and has continued on in faith as well. But that’s not all.
“And of the love you have for all the saints” (4). Love is the fruit of faith, the evidence of God’s Spirit at work within (Galatians 5:6; James 2:14ff; 1 John 3:14). When we experience God’s love and are filled with His Presence the natural result will be love for others (Galatians 5:20). This is clearly from God for they have love for “all” saints, and we know not everyone is easy to love without His help. Only God can bring about unconditional love for all in us.
The third trait he is thankful for, hope, is mentioned next. “The faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven and that you have already heard about” (5) Faith rests on the past and looks up to God, love works in the present reflecting God, and hope looks to the future in confident assurance that God is in control of everything. This life may be difficult, but better things are stored up for us in heaven! We endure today with the assurance of what will come.
We know God is in control through His Word: “That you have already heard about in the word of truth, the gospel 6 that has come to you. All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God’s grace in all its truth.”
It is God’s Word which is the only dependable source of truth in the universe. It alone produces changed lives, in the Colossians and those throughout the world. Knowing God’s Word is the basis of our faith, love and hope Having stated that his prayers always begin with giving God thanks for the Colossians. Pray God would give you and others a hunger and thirst for His Word, and a clear understanding of it.
“You learned it from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf, and who also told us of your love in the Spirit.” (7-8) Pray that, like Epaphras, I and the pastors in India would be able to clearly teach these things to the people in India.Pray for your pastors and leaders in the same way. Pray for yourself as well, that others would see faith, love and hope in you. Pray they would see it in me, and in the pastors and Christians in India.